Gender differences in the use of the Internet in Spanish adolescents
Sandra Golpe Ferreiro, Patricia Gómez Salgado, Sion Kim Harris, Teresa Braña Tobío, and Antonio Rial Boubeta1
The use of the internet among adolescents is an opportunity for personal development, but also a potential source of problems and risks. Social and cultural aspects related to gender could, a priori, determine patterns of internet and social networks usage, as well as the resulting consequences. The aim of the present study was to explore the possible gender differences regarding internet usage habits, reasons for its use, online risky behaviors, problematic internet use (PIU) and parental role. To achieve this goal, a sample of 40,955 Spanish Compulsory Secondary School students aged 12-17 was analyzed. The results obtained confirmed relevant gender differences in the reasons for using it, in social networks, mobile phone and instant messaging use. Differences in prevalence of PIU, in risky practices such as cyberbullying and in parental role were also detected. These findings allow for discussing some interpretative keys from a gender perspective.