Digital Bibles Help Men Read More, Retain Less | 9/23/2019 | Staff
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Men are more likely than women to finish Bible reading plans on an app, but they don’t glean as much as when using a good, old-fashioned paper book, according a recent study in the Journal of Religion, Media, and Digital Culture.

Women retained about the same amount of information and completed a similar amount of reading on either medium, though men finished more daily readings than women. Those who used the app completed, on average, almost two more days of reading than print users.

John - Dyer - Coder - PhD - Research

John Dyer, a Christian coder conducting his PhD research on the Bible software industry, didn’t expect differences between male and female readers to turn up in his data, which is now the first to compare print and screen reading comprehension by gender.

By most social science measures, women are more religious than men. The recent American Bible Society survey relates that more women report desire to engage with the Bible compared to men. Another has shown that men and women view the Bible differently and once this is accounted for they tend to report the same feeling of being close with God.

Dyer - Findings - Patterns - Boys - Formats

Dyer’s findings echo broader social patterns: Boys tend to prefer digital formats more than girls, and female readers consistently score better in comprehension. Plus, men working men also work more than working women, according to US Bureau of Labor Statistics, indicating that it may be easier to turn to digital reading in this setting.

However, Dyer’s research actually doesn’t narrowly focus on gender but seeks to understand the differences and habits between Bible reading in print versus digitally. For the study, Dyer enlisted participants from two non-denominational megachurches and one Southern Baptist church in the Dallas area. He asked participants to read the book of Jude in print or digitally and answer some questions. Then he asked them to...
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