Women Far Outperform Men in Parent-Child Reading: Report

February 6, 2017
By China Women's NewsEditor: Penny Huang

Parenting Science Research Center and toutiao.com, a Chinese news website, co-published “Big Data on Parent-Child Reading” on January 18, 2017 based on over 600 billion netizen reading habits. According to findings, women outperformed men and played a significant role in shared book reading.

Wide Gender Gap in Parent-Child Reading Group

Although male users on toutiao.com far outnumbered females, the report implied that women are over-presented among the group focusing on parent-child reading.

Specifically, the proportion of women in the group was 92 percent, 11.5 times as high as the percentage of men (8 percent).

This extremely wide gender gap indicates that mothers still play a traditional role in the education of young children in today's China, said experts.

Target Age Group of Parent-Child Reading: 24-30

According to the report, as those between 24 and 30 who are in the marriageable and child-bearing age form the majority group who pay the closest attention to joint reading with kids and that with age, this attention gradually decreases.

It also showed that the proportion of parents with children aged 3-6 years old is highest among people who put emphasis on the engagement of shared reading, followed by parents with children above 6.

Compared to pre-school children, primary school language and literacy skills have improved alongside an increased interest in reading. Despite these improvements, parent-child interaction during joint reading may by decreasing owing to the rising burden of study pressure, noted experts.

Besides, the popularity of parent-child reading interaction may relate to China's educational development and official publicity on early family learning. Also, high kindergarten demands on parent-child interaction have promoted this trend.

The Ignorance of Parent-Child Reading in Infancy

The report further suggests that for most families, parents always ignore shared reading child clipart during the early infant period.

Experts claimed that this may result from parents' lack of professional guidance, time to read, awareness of developing literacy skills and related abilities in shared book reading with babies.

Also, with the fast pace of urbanization and the prevalence of the one-child policy, many young children are taken care of by their grandparents, who are less likely to undertake joint reading with kids.

Changes in Family Education Notions

According to the report, modern parents tend to choose reading materials based on developing good habits, games, science, safety, as well as emotions and feelings. In particular, parents nowadays concentrate on children's mental development.

At the report press conference, professionals and experts from all sectors analyzed the relationship between family education and parent-child reading and gave speeches on related topics including parent involvement in early reading development, how to select books and the relationship between parent-child reading and family.

Educators all encouraged parents to engage in more frequent joint book reading since it can not only change children's lives but also parent-child interaction among households.

(Source: China Women's News / Translated and edited by Women of China)

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