Does your son have a cell phone? What are his favorite features?
According to a 2010 study, boys are more likely than girls to use their cell phones for purposes other than communication. Boys are more likely to play music, share pictures, check email and play video games on their cellular phones.
The researchers worry, though, that those differences in usage are based less on personal interest — and more on social conditioning. “Boys are often taught to explore and be more creative with technology and not to be afraid to take things apart. So it leads to more advanced cell phone uses among boys,” said study author Sheila Cotten, a sociologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
I’m not sure she can get all that from one study, but I think she might be right. I’m very hesitant with new technology, in part because I don’t understand it. I don’t push any more buttons than absolutely necessary for fear I’ll “mess something up.” The boys’ dad, on the other hand, is far more proficient on the computer than I, largely because he has no problem whatsoever exploring technology. Whatever happens, he’s confident he can find a way to get back to start.
Is that why he’s an engineer and I’m not? The study researchers might think so: “”If [girls] are not as interested in exploring or taking apart technology, they may be less likely to take computer science, science and math courses.”
Personally, I think that’s a lot of inference, based on a cell phone study. Still, I’d like to hear your experiences. Are your boys more adventurous on the cell phone and computer than your girls? What do you think of the researchers’ conclusions?