Email link to boys' popularity

Oct 14, 2011

Surveyed boys who used email at home were brighter and more popular than boys who did not – according to a recent study by an educational psychologist from Curtin University.

The study by School of Education Senior Lecturer Genevieve Johnson analysed responses by 51 boys and 44 at a Canadian primary school.

Dr Johnson likened the situation of boys who did not use to that of boys from a generation or two before who did not watch TV.

“Think back to when you were a little kid if one of your friends didn’t have a lunch box with the latest cartoon characters on it – because they didn’t watch TV – they were almost socially isolated because they didn’t know what was going on,” Dr Johnson told Curtin News.

“So when we say that children who use the internet under certain circumstances are more popular – that’s true.”

The girls surveyed by Dr Johnson were more likely than the boys to use email at home, but at school the girls and boys reported very similar use.

The similarity between boys’ and girls’ email use suggested internet teaching at school may be closing the technology gender gap.

It was considered likely that the gap was closing not because of decreased use by , but because of greater use by girls.

Dr Johnson has completed many studies on how communications technologies affect the development of children.

She said that throughout history parents and teachers had always been wary of how children would be affected by new technologies.

“We’ve got this impression that the internet, including internet games, is something bad,” she told Curtin News.

“This is totally inconsistent with the vast majority of my research.

“I cannot say that every single online application is associated with positive developmental outcomes – but most are.”

Dr Johnson said the same conclusion was broadly applicable to other communications technologies.

“Any technology is going to have advantages and disadvantages in terms of children’s development,” she said.

“To immediately assume that technologies like texting, like the internet, like video games, are a bad thing for children is so naive.

“There’s much more evidence to suggest that technology can be quite a good thing for .”

Explore further: Migrating to the Mediterranean makes Britons unhappier, says research

More information: Internet Activities and Developmental Predictors: Gender Differences Among Digital Natives, Genevieve Marie Johnson, Journal of Interactive Learning, Volume 10, Number 2, Summer 2011.

Provided by Curtin University

3.5 /5 (4 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The kids are alright

May 26, 2011

Children should be seen and not heard... who says? A Philosophy academic at The University of Nottingham is challenging the adage by teaching primary school children to argue properly.

The secret lives of boys

Apr 20, 2011

Harvard alumna Niobe Way sharpened the debate around the emotional capacities of boys and girls with an intimate look at teen relationships during a Harvard discussion on April 14.

Recommended for you

Male-biased tweeting

18 hours ago

Today women take an active part in public life. Without a doubt, they also converse with other women. In fact, they even talk to each other about other things besides men. As banal as it sounds, this is far ...

Developing nations ride a motorcycle boom

20 hours ago

Asia's rapidly developing economies should prepare for a full-throttle increase in motorcycle numbers as average incomes increase, a new study from The Australian National University has found.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

rwinners
not rated yet Oct 15, 2011
What and where is Curtin U?

More news stories

Male-biased tweeting

Today women take an active part in public life. Without a doubt, they also converse with other women. In fact, they even talk to each other about other things besides men. As banal as it sounds, this is far ...

Not just the poor live hand-to-mouth

When the economy hits the skids, government stimulus checks to the poor sometimes follow. Stimulus programs—such as those in 2001, 2008 and 2009—are designed to boost the economy quickly by getting cash ...

Archaeologists, tribe clash over Native remains

Archaeologists and Native Americans are clashing over Indian remains and artifacts that were excavated during a construction project in the San Francisco Bay Area, but then reburied at an undisclosed location.

When things get glassy, molecules go fractal

Colorful church windows, beads on a necklace and many of our favorite plastics share something in common—they all belong to a state of matter known as glasses. School children learn the difference between ...

SK Hynix posts Q1 surge in net profit

South Korea's SK Hynix Inc said Thursday its first-quarter net profit surged nearly 350 percent from the previous year on a spike in sales of PC memory chips.

FCC to propose pay-for-priority Internet standards

The Federal Communications Commission is set to propose new open Internet rules that would allow content companies to pay for faster delivery over the so-called "last mile" connection to people's homes.