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Early Adolescent Girls and the World Wide Web: Some Preliminary Research. Tracy Ann Robinson June 2002 WR 520--Computers and Composition Oregon State University. Presentation Outline. Why I chose this topic and methodology... What I’ve learned, through reading, talk, and observation

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Early Adolescent Girls and the World Wide Web: Some Preliminary Research

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Early Adolescent Girls and the World Wide Web:Some Preliminary Research

Tracy Ann Robinson

June 2002

WR 520--Computers and Composition

Oregon State University

Presentation Outline

  • Why I chose this topic and methodology...

  • What I’ve learned, through reading, talk, and observation

  • Implications for further research

I. Why This Topic?

  • Choose an area of personal scholarly interest

  • Spend time with my daughter at a pivotal point

  • Start a conversation useful to wider audience

What Is the Project Topic and Scope?

1.To survey the recent literature

on girls’ uses of the Web, and

particularly their experiences

with its interactive and

interpersonal communications


2.Through conversation, self-reporting, and observation, to learn about Alison’s current Web use practices and site preferences.

  • 3.Based on the results of this

  • preliminary work, to identify

  • topics and issues that warrant

  • further investigation, especially

  • as related to early-adolescent

  • girls’ emerging relationship with

  • the WWW as a mode of

  • interpersonal communication

Makes the information more accessible, especially to non-academic audiences

Demonstrates an effecting composing strategy for those of us who are “organizationally challenged”

*But Why PowerPoint?

Introducing Alison

“In this paper that I am helping to write, I will be talking about how I, an 11 year old girl uses the WWW (world wide web).”

II. What Have I Learned?

  • From published sources

  • From working with Alison

Consciousness-Raising Readings

  • Takayoshi et al, “No Boys Allowed”

  • Pagnucci and Mauriello, “The Masquerade”

  • Evard, “’So Please Stop, Thank You’: Girls Online”

  • Sauer, “Building Self Esteem in the Language Arts Classroom: The Cybergrrl Approach”

  • LeCourt, “Writing (Without) the Body”

Findings from Work with Alison

  • Personal Web Use Practices and Preferences

  • Responses to Girl-Friendly Web Sites

  • Thoughts on Other Issues Raised in Readings

Alison’s Web site preferences

  • “When I go online, I like to hang out at sites where you can actually interact with other ppl... Here are some of my fave sites:

  • www.yahoo.com

  • www.hotmail.com

  • www.neopets.com”

Girl-Friendly Web Sites

  • www.girlsinc.org “inspiring all girls to be Strong, Smart, and Bold”

  • www.girltech.com “encouraging girls to use and enjoy technology and to explore non-traditional avenues of life.”

  • www.girlpower.gov “to help encourage and motivate 9- to 14-year-old girls to make the most of their lives”

  • jfg.girlscouts.org ’Just 4 Girls’…“ for girls 7 to 17 who love adventure” (Girl Scout web site)

  • www.girlsite.org “Imagine a community of girls on the Net who speak their minds, share their ideas and make lasting friendships””

Sites located through www.femina.com

“Girl-Friendly Sites” Critique

  • “Not all that great...”

  • Criticisms include:

  • Not all that much to do compared to other sites she likes

  • Links don’t work

  • Not trustworthy as “girls only,” so why bother?

Opinions on Other Issues...

  • Analysis of “username factor” in chat rooms and message board postings

  • Changes we probably can’t effect

  • Differences between computer use in boys and girls of her age

Opinions on Other Issues continued...

  • Strong interest in “cybergrrl classroom” concept

  • Web page design concept

Opinions on Other Issues continued...

  • Motives for visiting message boards and chat rooms

What This Means…and Doesn’t

  • Mother-daughter dynamics an issue

  • Time and availability limited

  • Class, race, education (of both mother and daughter), geographical location problematize drawing of broader conclusions

But still….

III. Ideas for Further Research

  • Web site communications spaces: For friendship or entertainment?

  • Perceptions/practice of Web safety rules

  • Need for training and education in online conflict-resolution strategies?

  • “These sites are kinda boring!”

  • And who are they really for, anyway?

“Planetlala.com is a website written for girls. Our mission is to create a safe place on the internet where girls can feel free and safe to express their opinions and views on everything…”

“GIA is the LEADING expert on understanding the female youth market. Maintaining a trusted relationship with over 40,000 Influ0encer Agents nationwide, GIA helps companies succeed in this $67B market”

  • “WHY YOU NEED GIRLS”…???!!!

  • 18MM+ girls 10-19 years old in U.S.

  • Spending Power - $67B annually

  • Last year, teens bought almost half of ALL movie tickets sold...more than half of these teens were GIRLS!

  • Earn more than $71 per week/Spend more than $84 per week.

  • 13-19 year-old girls spent $9 billion on beauty products in 2001.

  • Girls spend $143 per month on apparel.

  • Girls outnumber boys online and stay online longer.

  • By 2005, 33.6 million teen girls will be roaming the planet.

  • More than half of all teen girls own a cell phone.

  • Teens influence an additional $400 billion in family purchasing...everything from snack foods to computers and cars...56% of these teens are GIRLS.

  • U.S. teen demo is doubling twice as fast as the rest of the planet...more than half are GIRLS.

  • (www.girlsintelligenceagency.com/girlgames/whygirls.asp)

Thanks for your interest in this presentation! I now invite your “girl-friendly” comments and questions...Tracy Ann Robinson  tracyann_r@msn.com

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