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Media and socio-cultural communication
This paper analyses comparative empirical data from across Europe on gender differences in children’s internet use, and through a new interpretive framework on young people’s experiences, seeks to add new findings to this growing international knowledge base. Linking feminist theory on gender and technology with theories of youth gender identity construction, four key areas are investigated. Firstly, the impact of increased internet access and use in schools and in homes on gender equality is examined. Secondly, youth communication and content creation practices are investigated to explore whether the internet is facilitating flexibility in gender identity and the transcendence of traditional gender roles. Thirdly, gender differences in skills and perceptions of expertise are discussed. Finally, internet activities which demonstrate overtly gender-stereotypical masculine attributes – pornography and action/violent game playing - are discussed. We argue that gender remains a salient factor in researching the complexity of young people’s internet use and call for multiple theoretical perspectives to contribute to further research on this topic.
McQuillan, H. and B. Neill (2009) "Gender Differences in Children's Internet Use." Journal of Children and Media 3(4): 366-378, 2009. DOI:10.1080/17482790903233408