Kids tablet

Study: Parents’ digital preferences influenced by gender

A new study from research, consulting and innovation firm PlayScience sheds light on parents' perceptions about their kids technology and media use and finds a child's gender plays a significant role.
March 24, 2015

A new study from research, consulting and innovation firm PlayScience looks to shed light on parents’ perceptions about their children’s use of technology and media.

The study, Parents and Platform Perceptions, found that perceptions were influenced heavily by a child’s gender, as well as device type and perceived educational value. It polled 501 parents of kids ages two to nine in the US.

Key findings include the fact that parents were three times more likely to give their sons a smartphone or video game device and give their daughters a kids tablet (73 % vs. 65% for boys).

For girls, child-friendliness was the strongest factor in purchases for parents (30% for girls vs. 17% for boys), while for boys their preference is the primary driver (27% for boys vs. 21% for girls).

In addition, parents were more likely to use tech to manage their sons during difficult parenting moments. Whether soothing them when they are upset (48% vs. 37% for girls), or getting them to bed (42% vs. 34%), more parents used media to settle boys down.

When it came to device preference, tablets (especially tablets designed for kids) were at the top, while smartphones ranked at the bottom of the list of technology parents prefer to use. For the two to four demo, in particular, 73% of parents preferred a kids tablet, 41% a regular tablet, with only 12% preferring a smartphone.

The type of tablet didn’t matter as much for parents with kids ages eight to nine, with 60% ranking a kids tablet as their number-one device and 47% preferring a regular tablet.

Parents were more likely to describe tablets as “educational”, “good” and “useful” as opposed to smartphones, which they deemed “not educational,” “not safe” and “not good.”

The PlayScience Parents and Platform Perceptions study was revealed at the 2015 Sandbox Summit at MIT in Boston. For more details of the study, click here.



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