Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Men Share Their Creative Work Online More Than Women

Date:
June 25, 2008
Source:
Northwestern University
Summary:
Men are significantly more likely to share their creative work online than women though both engage in creative activity about equally. With the Internet a major form of participating in popular culture and public discourse, that means men's voices are disproportionately heard. Almost two-thirds of men report posting their work online. Only half of women do. When controlling for digital literacy -- whether perceived or actual -- the research shows they post about equally.

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.

Related Articles


“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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northwestern University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Northwestern University. "Men Share Their Creative Work Online More Than Women." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080624110931.htm>.
Northwestern University. (2008, June 25). Men Share Their Creative Work Online More Than Women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080624110931.htm
Northwestern University. "Men Share Their Creative Work Online More Than Women." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080624110931.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) In a blog post, Google said its balloons have traveled 3 million kilometers since the start of Project Loon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NSA Director: China Can Damage US Power Grid

NSA Director: China Can Damage US Power Grid

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) China and "one or two" other countries are capable of mounting cyberattacks that would shut down the electric grid and other critical systems in parts of the United States, according to Adm. Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency and hea Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Now 'Get' No-Cost Downloads In Apple's App Store

You Now 'Get' No-Cost Downloads In Apple's App Store

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Apple has changed its App Store wording from "Free" to "Get," as the European Commission and Federal Trade Commission seek to protect consumers. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Blocks Its Own Ads With New Contributor Program

Google Blocks Its Own Ads With New Contributor Program

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Google's unveiled a crowdfunding platform dubbed Contributor, which allows people to pay for ad-free sites. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins