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Gender Differences in the Style and Substance of Adolescents' Personal Home Pages
Unformatted Document Text:  Gender Differences 7 that women disclose more than men across the board, research in interpersonal settings shows that males tend to disclose more "masculine" information (e.g., "talking about their assertiveness and aggressiveness as well as about their business and sexual accomplishments"), and females tend to disclose more "feminine" information (e.g., "talking about their dependence, emotionality, and sensitivities"). 32 Also, research indicates that gender differences are more likely to appear when topics of discussion are of an intimate nature. Topics that are not intimate tend to be discussed equally by both males and females. 33 Those few studies that have examined self-disclosure differences among adult males and females in home pages have found some differences. Overall, men provide less biographical information than women, who are also more likely to include information about their families and romantic interests. Men are significantly more likely to discuss sports, and women are more likely to discuss their outlook on life. 34 Adolescence and Personal Home Pages. Although there is a growing amount of evidence that off-line gender-specific communication styles are being reproduced to some extent on adult’s personal home pages, 35 almost nothing is known about gender differences among home pages created by other age groups. Adolescents, in particular, are an important cohort to address in terms of online communication and personal home pages, because many youth today have grown up with the Internet. Unlike adults, body-less correspondence is not novel to online teens, but rather, it is a customary way of presenting oneself and communicating with others. Moreover, adolescence has been marked as a developmentally unique stage of life, in which teens communicate in different ways and for different reasons than people at other life stages. Given these unique circumstances, what is the relationship between traditional gendered offline communication and teens’ online communication on personal home pages? Developmental changes are the key distinction of adolescence. Not only is adolescence characterized by biological, social and cognitive transitions, but it is also a time for testing sex roles. 36 Self-presentation and self-disclosure, both processes facilitated by and preserved on personal home pages (as noted earlier), are key components in the adolescent transitional period. Self-presentation becomes a major preoccupation for teens, who search for validation from peers and friends by presenting themselves

Authors: Stern, Susannah.
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Gender Differences
7
that women disclose more than men across the board, research in interpersonal settings shows that males
tend to disclose more "masculine" information (e.g., "talking about their assertiveness and aggressiveness
as well as about their business and sexual accomplishments"), and females tend to disclose more
"feminine" information (e.g., "talking about their dependence, emotionality, and sensitivities").
32
Also,
research indicates that gender differences are more likely to appear when topics of discussion are of an
intimate nature. Topics that are not intimate tend to be discussed equally by both males and females.
33
Those few studies that have examined self-disclosure differences among adult males and females
in home pages have found some differences. Overall, men provide less biographical information than
women, who are also more likely to include information about their families and romantic interests. Men
are significantly more likely to discuss sports, and women are more likely to discuss their outlook on
life.
34
Adolescence and Personal Home Pages. Although there is a growing amount of evidence that
off-line gender-specific communication styles are being reproduced to some extent on adult’s personal
home pages,
35
almost nothing is known about gender differences among home pages created by other age
groups. Adolescents, in particular, are an important cohort to address in terms of online communication
and personal home pages, because many youth today have grown up with the Internet. Unlike adults,
body-less correspondence is not novel to online teens, but rather, it is a customary way of presenting
oneself and communicating with others. Moreover, adolescence has been marked as a developmentally
unique stage of life, in which teens communicate in different ways and for different reasons than people at
other life stages. Given these unique circumstances, what is the relationship between traditional gendered
offline communication and teens’ online communication on personal home pages?
Developmental changes are the key distinction of adolescence. Not only is adolescence
characterized by biological, social and cognitive transitions, but it is also a time for testing sex roles.
36
Self-presentation and self-disclosure, both processes facilitated by and preserved on personal home pages
(as noted earlier), are key components in the adolescent transitional period. Self-presentation becomes a
major preoccupation for teens, who search for validation from peers and friends by presenting themselves


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