Digital competence among young people in Spain: A gender divide analysis



Digital citizenship, citizenship education, media literacy, critical thinking, gender equality, young people


Datafication in today’s communicative ecosystem poses a challenge to media and digital literacy, especially with regard to young people’s participation and civic and democratic engagement. We address this issue using the notion of digital citizenship, in order to study the gender digital divide as it relates to competence (i.e., skills and knowledge) and the possibility of leveraging said competence to promote civic education grounded in gender equality in the digital environment. For this study, we surveyed a representative sample of 600 young people between the ages of 16 and 18 in Spain to gauge their digital competence through three variables: technical skills, informational skills and critical knowledge. We then performed a descriptive analysis resulting in percentages, means and standard deviations and a bivariate analysis using significance testing (T-tests) between the above variables and the gender variable. Results show a relative balance between men and women in technical and informational digital skills, albeit tipped slightly in favour of women. By contrast, men claim to have more critical knowledge. Based on these results, we discuss the need to consider the contributions of feminist theories in the field of technology to develop proposals for teaching digital competence that encourage active digital citizenship based on gender equality.



How to Cite

Estanyol, E., Montaña, M., Fernández-de-Castro, P., Aranda, D., & Mohammadi, L. (2023). Digital competence among young people in Spain: A gender divide analysis. Comunicar, 31(74), 113–123. Retrieved from