Gendered mediation of children’s internet use: A keyhole for looking into changing socialization practices


This study focuses on parental mediation of children’s internet use in the context of broader gendered socialization patterns. Analyses were carried out in three steps using quantitative and qualitative methods. Firstly, based on EU Kids Online survey data, gendered patterns in parental mediation across European countries were explored. Secondly, detailed analysis of mediation practices in Estonia, one country in the EU Kids Online survey, was carried out. As the last step, data from two focus group interviews were used for in-depth analysis of Estonian mothers’ everyday practices of mediating their children’s internet use. Quantitative analysis revealed significant correlations between the number of gender differences in parental mediation, and country-level variables of internet penetration and gender equality. In Estonia, as a country with low gender equality, but high internet use, mediation strategies do not depend purely on children’s gender, but on a more complex interrelation of gender and children’s and parents’ socio-demographic characteristics and parent-child interactions. This finding was supported and explained by qualitative analysis, showing that Estonian mothers’ methods for mediating boys’ and girls’ internet use differ in several aspects, reflecting the broader context of changing socialization practices, gender norms, and the generation gap in using digital technologies.

Bibliographic citation

Talves, K., & Kalmus, V. (2015). Gendered mediation of children’s internet use: A keyhole for looking into changing socialization practices. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 9(1), Article 4. doi:


Parental mediation; socialization; gender ideologies; cultural values

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