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College students and cell phone use: Gender variation: 

College students and cell phone use: Gender variation Geoffrey Potts HC Rhetoric 160 Winter 2004


Questions How has the past and present use of cell phones affected the future of communication? Do college males and females use cellular communication the same way? How does each gender utilize cellular communication? Specifically, how does each gender utilize new cell phone features such as the internet, text messaging, and 2-way phone communication? Do college students use cellular phones differently from the rest of the population?

Previous Studies: 

Previous Studies Richard Ling, a Norwegian researcher: “Data on time of use for mobile telephone indicates that while there is no significant gender based difference among adults, there is, a gender based difference among teens.” Young women in Norway at the age of 17 make 4.5 text message calls per day while young men at the age of 17 make 3.5 text message calls. Young women at the age of 20 make 4.5 text messages per day over 4 by young men at the age of 20.

Study at Oakland: 

Study at Oakland Methodology A study to better understand the statistical evidence and to understand the reasons for these differences between gender in college students specifically Survey of 30 freshman OU commuter students 15 male and 15 female subjects Case study of two representatives from each gender to explore in-depth

Results of Features: 

Results of Features Internet feature 7 of 15 surveyed males used the feature while only 2 out of 15 females used the Internet on the phone. Text messaging and 2-way radiophone calling 6 males used the text messaging service once a week or more while 7 females used the text messaging once a week or more. 2-way radiophone calling was nearly equal in usage between genders.

Results of Calls: 

Results of Calls Males and females both averaged 5-10 calls per day and 5-15 minutes per call. Both males and females made a majority of their weekly calls to friends with family close behind. Females responded by saying that they wanted to have social contact with their friends, while males were more likely to associate phone calls to friends as a form of planning.


Discussion Social contact versus information gathering? The features used by females either equally with males or more than males are all social features. The Internet is a primarily information gathering feature, and males dominated use of this feature by searching for weather, ring tones, and sports scores. Other than features, the calls themselves were a mix between making plans and social contact for both genders, and many aspects were the same. Males were most commonly making the shorter planning calls, and the exceptions were calls to a girlfriend. So what? Possibly males have the nature to be more straight forward, decisive, and quick with their phone calls, and women have more of a necessity for social contact.


Conclusion At the college age, the two genders differ in some aspects their cell phone usage. Reasons for this difference is cost, availability, and ease of use. For example, the newest and more technical features are more readily picked up by males, and they tend to use the feature more. (Internet) The differences are not always so definitive (2-way radio messages and text messaging) The future is sure to bring change to the cell phone market and to social communication and information technology as we know it.

The End… Or is it?: 

The End… Or is it?

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