Space Ramblings

Social Media and the Gender Gap

If you believe the New York Times (and who ‘doesn’t’) and its article by Stephanie Rosenbloom, Sorry, Boys, This Is Our Domain, then girls actually outnumber guys when it comes to blogging and creating websites.

Indeed, a study published in December by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that among Web users ages 12 to 17, significantly more girls than boys blog (35 percent of girls compared with 20 percent of boys) and create or work on their own Web pages (32 percent of girls compared with 22 percent of boys).

The article however microfocuses on the MySpace layout and virtual scrapbooking crowd to argue that the gender domain of the internet is changing. But the reality is the study likely conflated social sites such as MySpace and LiveJournal with blogging in general, which contains more than an I am sad and hate my teachers update.

But the real explanation for the gender gap is that boys and girls are doing different things. The old definitions of the internet as being about creating websites is way too 1997 and boys these days are much more likely to be using their online time for gaming than designing graphics.

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