Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study Finds Men More Than Women Share Creative Work Online

26.06.2008
A Northwestern University study finds that men are more likely to share their creative work online than women despite the fact that women and men engage in creative activities at essentially equal rates.

“Because sharing information on the Internet today is a form of participating in public culture and contributing to public discourse, that tells us men’s voices are being disproportionately heard,” says Eszter Hargittai, assistant professor of communication studies at Northwestern University. Hargittai co-authored the study with Northwestern researcher Gina Walejko.

Overall, almost two-thirds of men reported posting their work online while only half of women reported doing so. When Hargittai and Northwestern's Walejko controlled for self-reported digital literacy and Web know-how, however, they found that men and women actually posted their material about equally.

“This suggests that the Internet is not an equal playing field for men and women since those with more online abilities -- whether perceived or actual -- are more likely to contribute online content,” says Hargittai.

The study titled “The Participation Divide: Content Creation and Sharing in the Digital Age” recently appeared in the journal Information, Communication and Society.

“It appears that lack of perceived skill is holding women back from putting their creative content out there,” says Hargittai. She says that other factors that may be responsible for the observed difference, although not measured in the study, may relate to lack of confidence in the quality of one’s work or privacy concerns.

Hargittai and Walejko found men were more than twice as likely to share music on the Web that they had created or re-mixed than were women; and that men were also considerably more likely to post film or video they made when compared to women who engaged in film- or video-making.

“Much of the early research about the Web dwelled on accessibility and on digital technology’s ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots,’” says Hargittai. And early conversations about the Web revolved around its potential as a social leveler once access issues were resolved.

Today, researchers like Hargittai -- who directs Northwestern’s Web Use Project -- and Walejko study how people use the Internet, who creates content for the Web and whether or not the Internet contributes to social equality.

In their survey of creative content -- whether online or offline -- the Northwestern researchers found that on average two out of three men and two out of three women engage in creative writing, art photography, music or film/video generally (and this does not relate in any way to the Web).

“So while creative output, on the aggregate, is equally distributed among men and women, the sharing of such content is not,” Hargittai says.

Of the 61 percent of the full sample who reported engaging in at least one type of creative activity, 56 percent said they posted at least some of their creative work online.

Not surprisingly -- since it is the easiest content to post -- the most popular type of creative content shared online was creative writing. Just over half of the students who report engaging in creative writing also reported posting their work online.

Video was the second most popular creative work to be posted, at just under 50 percent. Again, Hargittai points to the ease of posting such material. “Video-sharing sites like YouTube make it relatively simple for people to share their own or remixed videos,” she says.

The Northwestern researchers’ study was based on a survey of 1,060 freshmen from the University of Illinois, Chicago, which, according to U.S. News & World Report, is one of the nation’s most ethnically diverse universities. The researchers observed little-to-no difference in the posting habits of students from different racial and ethnic backgrounds.

The study is part of a series of studies by Web Use Project that is funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation through the Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning Initiative. Northwestern’s Web Use Project also looks at how online skill differences influence Web user behavior and how young adults benefit from time spent using digital media.

Wendy Leopold | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.northwestern.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Self-organising system enables motile cells to form complex search pattern
07.05.2019 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

nachricht Mouse studies show minimally invasive route can accurately administer drugs to brain
02.05.2019 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New studies increase confidence in NASA's measure of Earth's temperature

A new assessment of NASA's record of global temperatures revealed that the agency's estimate of Earth's long-term temperature rise in recent decades is accurate to within less than a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit, providing confidence that past and future research is correctly capturing rising surface temperatures.

The most complete assessment ever of statistical uncertainty within the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP) data product shows that the annual values...

Im Focus: The geometry of an electron determined for the first time

Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B.

The spin of an electron is a promising candidate for use as the smallest information unit (qubit) of a quantum computer. Controlling and switching this spin or...

Im Focus: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

Im Focus: Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale

'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.

However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

On Mars, sands shift to a different drum

24.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Piedmont Atlanta first in Georgia to offer new minimally invasive treatment for emphysema

24.05.2019 | Medical Engineering

Chemical juggling with three particles

24.05.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>