In 1953, when Marilyn Monroe sang these Jules Styne lyrics in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," they became an instant catchphrase: "A kiss on the hand may be quite continental, But diamonds are a girl’s best friend."  Obviously times have changed.

A new study, "Girls Gone Wired," from Oxygen Network found that more three out of four women (77%) would prefer to be given a plasma TV rather than a diamond solitaire necklace.

The survey also found that women prefer a well-designed cellphone over designer shoes — by about the same three-out-of-four margin — and a majority would opt for a small white iPod over a little black dress.

"People make the assumption that women are not as advanced as men when it comes to technology and I was surprised at the parity men and women now have in terms of technology," Geraldine Laybourne, CEO of Oxygen, told Reuters. Usage patterns revealed by the study confirmed this.

In the survey, 59% of the women agreed with the statement "Women are much more tech savvy than they give themselves credit for." Among the men, only 38% agreed. One-third of the women respondents identified themselves as a "techie," and 79% said they felt "fully confident" using technology.

The survey reports that women envision themselves increasing their use of six key tech devices/activities over the next five years:

  • Digital cameras
  • Cellphones
  • E-mail
  • Camera phones
  • Short message services
  • Instant messaging
Are marketers who cling to old gender-role myths missing an opportunity?

Obviously, Oxygen Network thinks so.

More here.