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Women learn while men talk?: revisiting gender differences in political engagement in online environments.

Lilleker, D., Koc-Michalska, K. and Bimber, B., 2021. Women learn while men talk?: revisiting gender differences in political engagement in online environments. Information, Communication and Society, 24 (14), 2037-2053.

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Women Learn while Men Talk - Main Paper - REVISED_FINAL.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.


DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2021.1961005


There is an inconclusive debate on whether male and female users of social media platforms engage with political content differently. While some highlight minimal differences, others evidence an engagement gap where male are more visible within online environments. Drawing on data from a representative survey of citizens in France, the UK and USA, we explore the engagement gap in more granular detail. Our data show minimal gender differences for most forms of online political engagement, but there remain some indications of a gendered divide. While the feeling of external efficacy is crucial to engage online regardless gender, women appear to need a sense of higher levels of competence in order to engage with online political content, especially for sharing and commenting. The study confirms interest in politics, extreme political ideological views and large social media network as prompt for more eager political engagement, but we do not find any substantial gender differentiation. Our findings suggest some minimal country differences on women engagement in commenting. Overall, our data indicate that while women may be as likely as men to participate in online political expression, through sharing and commenting, and may have an equal overall share of voice, the voices of many women are at least more muted in open public political discussions environment.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Project was funded by Audencia Foundation project Innovation and stability.
Uncontrolled Keywords:Gender gap ; social media ; political engagement ; political activity
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:35923
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:25 Aug 2021 09:43
Last Modified:07 Feb 2023 01:08


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