This paper first reviews the literature on computer mediated communication (CMC) to examine whether claims about gender-linked differences in specific attitudes, styles and content in CMC have been validated. Empirical studies were limited, with considerable variation in audiences, tasks, and contexts that was related to varied outcomes. The paper next describes an empirical study on the e-mail communication of elementary school children from ten Dutch classrooms. No gender-linked preference for a person or task-oriented attitude was found. Girls significantly more often employed an elaborate style. Differences between boys and girls on content of communication were subtle rather than robust. The conclusion discusses the functional embedding of CMC and the need to examine jointly antecedents, language acts and consequences.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 28, 2007
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