Mark Dollliver’s Takes

Despite the higher-tech devices that now lay claim to kids’ free time, the TV set remains after-school king of the hill. The chart below, summarizing a Mediamark Research Inc. poll, makes this clear with respect to 6-11-year-olds. There wasn’t a significant gender gap in the incidence of watching TV, playing with toys or hanging with friends. But boys were far more likely than girls to include playing video games among their after-school favorites (63 percent vs. 28 percent). And while girls may be more keen on sports than in past generations, they were still less apt than boys to cite it as a favorite after-school pastime (37 percent vs. 54 percent). The gap would likely be larger were it not for the fact that video games have lured many boys away from the playing fields. True to goody-goody stereotype, more girls than boys cited homework/ studying as an after-school fave (41 percent vs. 31 percent). Girls were also more likely than boys to put using the computer on their list of favorites (39 percent vs. 32 percent).