Gender, Identity, and Language Use in Teenage Blogs

Abstract

This study examines issues of online identity and language use among male and female teenagers who created and maintained weblogs, personal journals made publicly accessible on the World Wide Web. Online identity and language use were examined in terms of the disclosure of personal information, sexual identity, emotive features, and semantic themes. Male and female teenagers presented themselves similarly in their blogs, often revealing personal information such as their real names, ages, and locations. Males more so than females used emoticons, employed an active and resolute style of language, and were more likely to present themselves as gay. The results suggest that teenagers stay closer to reality in their online expressions of self than has previously been suggested, and that these explorations involve issues, such as learning about their sexuality, that commonly occur during the adolescent years.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1083-6101.2005.tb00238.x

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