In brief: Portuguese findings from EU Kids Online 2020

Gender differences matter in the way Portuguese children deal with online risky situations, parental mediation and incorporate new generations of smart technology (IoT) in daily life. Engaging in online activities, girls (27%) report more bothering online experiences than boys (18%). Facing these situations, girls request more support from peers and adults they trust (parents, teachers) than boys, who use more proactive and isolated answers. From the 33% of children that reported having seen sexual content, almost half of the boys felt happy about it, compared to 7% of the girls. Gender differences are also visible in the way children report family practices and supervision around online experiences.

A cluster analysis based on frequency of those practices reveals that absence of family communication and mutual support are mainly reported by boys, while parental support and regulation are more often reported by girls. Self-perception of competence (where boys see themselves more competent than girls) does not translate into patterns of familial assistance (it is usually girls who help out grown-ups).

Regarding pioneering adoption of the Internet of Things, app-controllable toys, such as cars or robots (25%), smart watches and Toys-to-Life (21%), are the most popular among boys, while girls' favourites are smart home appliances (10%). Overall, results point to the replication of gendered stereotypes in digital spaces, but also to autonomous mobilization of technology by girls.

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Cristina Ponte 2019

Cristina Ponte is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa (NOVA FCSH) and researcher at ICNOVA. A member of the Steering Committee in the COST Action IS0906 on Audiences (2010-2014), she coordinated the international project Digital Inclusion and Participation (2009-2011) and the national project Children and Young People in the news (2005-2007). She was vice-chair of the TWG Children, Youth and Media (2012-2017), European Communication Research and Education Association.

Areas of expertise: children and media; media and generations; digital divides; journalism studies, media discourse.

José Alberto Simões 2019

José Alberto Simões, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa (NOVA FCSH). He is also a researcher at CICS.NOVA. His main research areas include youth cultures, children and digital media, and activism and participation. He coordinated the national project Networked Youth Activism (2014-15) and Portuguese participation in the international project Net Children Go Mobile (2013-14).

Areas of expertise: digital media and internet use, children and youth, activism/ social movements, qualitative methods, quantitative methods.

Daniel Cardoso

Daniel Cardoso, PhD, is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Manchester Metropolitan University (United Kingdom), with a grant from the European Research Council, working on social movements connected with consensual non/monogamies. He has taught at the Lusophone University of Humanities and Technologies (Portugal), with which he is still currently associated, and at the NOVA University of Lisbon. His main interests have to do with the intersection of gender and sexualities studies with Communication sciences, and with new media in particular. He has been part of the EU Kids Online Portugal team since 2007.

Eduarda Ferreira 2019

Eduarda Ferreira is a researcher of CICS.NOVA, at NOVA FCSH. With a background in Educational Psychology, a master degree in Learning Management Systems and a PhD on Social and Cultural Geography, her research interests are ICTs in education, geospatial web, digital inclusion, and gender equality. She is a member of diverse research projects, e.g. Net Children Go Mobile and EU Kids Online. She has published and presented on digital technologies, gender and education. www.eferreira.net


Teresa Sofia Castro develops her Post-Doctorate "Families iTec" at the NOVA FCSH (ICNOVA) under the supervision of Cristina Ponte. European PhD in Educational Technology. Member of EU Kids Online and COST DigiLitEY action. Her main research interests are: children’s digital lives, digital parenting, qualitative research.

Co-author of the pedagogical collection “Premika Alert! Online risk detected” inspired by the voices of children heard in fieldwork context. Academia.edu

Susana Batista 2019

Susana Batista, PhD, is a researcher at CICS.NOVA and a Guest Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, NOVA FCSH. She is a member of the ESCXEL- Schools for Excellence Network project. Main research interests: public action in education, quantitative methods and children and media.


Batista, S. & Simões, J.A. (2022). Cidadania digital de jovens em três países europeus: perfis de (não) participação cívica online. Sociologia, Problemas e Práticas. 98, pp. 9-29.

Ponte, C., Leote de Carvalho, MJ & Batista, S. (2021). Exploring European children's self-reported data on online aggressionCommunications, The European Journal of Communication Research, 46(3), 419-445.

Ponte, C. (org.) (2020). Nós na Rede. Ambientes digitais de crianças e jovens. Lisboa: ERC Almedina.

Ponte, C. & Batista, S. (2019). EU Kids Online Portugal. Usos, competências, riscos e mediações da internet reportados por crianças e jovens (9-17 anos)EU Kids Online and NOVA FCSH

Ponte, Cristina; Castro, Teresa S.; Simões, José A; Batista, Susana; Jorge, Ana. 2018. Portuguese families facing the challenges of screen time. In Parenting for a Digital Future. London: LSE.

Ponte, Cristina; Batista, Susana; Castro, Teresa S. 2018. «Mi hermano lo utiliza. Mis padres lo utilizan. Cualquiera de nosotros coge un Ipad y lo utiliza». La influencia familiar en las actividades digitales de niños portugueses de 6-8 años.  In Entre selfies y whatapp: oportunidades y riesgos para la infancia y la adolescencia conectada, ed. Estafania Jimenez, Maialen Garmendia y Miguel Angel Casado, 62 - 86. Barcelona: Gedisa.

Ponte, Cristina; Simões, José A; Batista, Susana; Castro, Teresa S; Jorge, Ana. 2018. Educando entre ecrãs.  In Boom digital? Crianças (3 a 8 anos) e ecrãs, ed. Carla Martins e Cristina Ponte, 35 - 46. Lisboa: ERC - Entidade Reguladora para a Comunicação.

Castro. T; Ponte, C.; Jorge, Ana; Batista, Susana. 2017.  Crescendo entre ecrãs: competências digitais de crianças de 3 a 8 anos.  In Atas do IV Congresso Media, Literacia e Cidadania, ed. Sara Pereira e Manuel Pinto, 144 - 157.  Braga: Universidade do Minho.

Castro, T. 2017. Family digital time: Understanding contexts, emergent literacies and mediation. Relatório realizado com a supervisão de Bieke Zaman, no âmbito de Short-Term Scientific Mission financiada pela Cost Action IS1410 (DigiLitEY). http://digilitey.eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Report_KU_Leuven__Website-1.pdf

Castro, Teresa. 2017. Research, children an ethics: an ongoing dialogue. Revista EDaPECI – Educação a Distância e Práticas Educativas Comunicacionais e Interculturais, dossiê: Ética em Pesquisa em Contextos Educativos (Vol. 17, N.º 2), 81-92, ISSN: 2176 – 171X. https://seer.ufs.br/index.php/edapeci/issue/view/v17.n2.2017/showToc

Ferreira, Eduarda; Ponte, Cristina; Castro, Teresa S. 2017 "ICT and gender: Parental mediation strategies," 2017 International Symposium on Computers in Education (SIIE), Lisbon, Portugal, 2017, 1-6, doi: 10.1109/SIIE.2017.8259671, http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=8259671&isnumber=8259636

Ponte, Cristina. 2016. Um desafio dos tempos modernos: A Internet e as novas gerações.  In Dependências Online. O poder das tecnologias, ed. Ivone Patrão e Daniel Sampaio, 1 - 19. ISBN: 978-989-693-060-8. Lisboa: Pactor.

Ponte, Cristina. 2016. Crescendo em tempos digitais. Crianças e jovens na relação com os media digitais.  In Digital Media Portugal, 15 - 26. Lisboa: ERC.

Ponte, Cristina. 2016. Crescendo entre culturas digitais nas últimas décadas.  In Juventude e Virtualidade: Diálogos Interdisciplinares, ed. Nádia Laguardia de Lima, Marcia Stengel e Vanina Costa Dias, 33 - 45. ISBN: 978-85-88009-64-6. Belo Horizonte: Artesã.

Doretto, Juliana; Ponte, Cristina. 2015. "Brasil e Portugal: infâncias contemporâneas e suas culturas digitais // Brazil and Portugal: contemporary childhoods and their digital cultures", Contemporanea - Revista de Comunicação e Cultura 13, 1: 159 - 176.

Ferreira, Eduarda; Ponte, Cristina; Silva, Maria J; Azevedo, Celiana. 2015. "Mind the Gap: Digital Pratices and School", International Journal of Digital Literacy and Digital Competence 6, 3: 16 - 32.
doi: 10.4018/IJDLDC.2015070102.

Ponte, Cristina; Francisco, Karita (2014). Opposite cultures? Schools and children's practices with digital media. Ilana Eleá (Org.) Agents and voices: a panorama of Media Education in Brazil, Portugal and Spain. Nordicom, International Clearinghouse on Children and Media

Ponte, Cristina. (2014). Brazil, Portugal and Europe: gender and mobile access to the internet by children and adolescents. Alexandre Barbosa (org) TIC Kids Online Brazil Cetic, 2014.

Ponte, Cristina; Simões, José Alberto (2014). Comportamentos online de crianças e jovens portugueses.  In Psicologia dos Comportamentos Online, ed. Guilhermina Lobato Miranda, 15 - 40. Lisboa: Relógio d' Água.

Hagen, I., & Jorge, A. (2014). Grey zones: Audience research, moral evaluations and online risk negotiation. In F. Zeller, C. Ponte, & B. O’Neill (Eds.), Revitalising audiences: Innovations in European audience research. London: Routledge.

Ponte, Cristina (2014). Riscos e danos na internet: perspetivas de crianças e adolescentes portugueses. In Filipe, C.N., and Costa, R. C., (eds.) Navegar com Segurança. Lisboa, Clube do Autor: 65-82.

Ponte, Cristina; Cardoso, Daniel (2013). Em casa e no quarto: modos de uso da internet por crianças e jovens (9-16 anos). In Matos, M.G., Ferreira, M., (eds.) Nascidos Digitais: Novas Linguagens, Lazer e Dependências. Lisboa, Coisas de Ler: 239-254.

Simões, José Alberto; Ponte, Cristina & Jorge, Ana (2013). "Online experiences of socially disadvantaged children and young people in Portugal", Communications - the European Journal of Communication Research 38, 1: 85 - 106. DOI: 10.1515/commun-2013-0005

Ponte, Cristina;. Simões, José (2013). Comparando resultados sobre acesso e usos da internet: Brasil. Portugal e Europa.  In Barbosa, A., (ed) TIC Kids Online Brasil 2012. Pesquisa sobre o uso da internet por crianças e adolescentes no Brasil, 27 - 36. ISBN: 978-85-60062-61-4. São Paulo: CGI.Br. (versão em língua portuguesa e em língua inglesa)

Ponte, Cristina; Simões, José  & Jorge, Ana (2013). Do questions matter on children’s answers about internet risk and safety? Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 7(1),  doi: 10.5817/CP2013-1-2

Ponte, Cristina (2012). Mapeando riscos e oportunidades no uso da internet por crianças.  In Infância, Crianças, Internet. Desafios na era digital, ed. Ana Nunes de Almeida, 73 - 98. ISBN: 978-972-31-1464-5. Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.

Ponte, Cristina (2012). "Kids Online na Europa e no Brasil. Desafios para a pesquisa comparada sobre as práticas de crianças e adolescentes na internet", Comunicação, Mídia e Consumo 9, 25: 13 - 42. ESPM, Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing, São Paulo, Brasil

Ponte, Cristina (2012). "Digitally empowered? Portuguese children and the national policies for internet inclusion". Estudos em Comunicação. Communication Studies 11: 49-66. http://www.ec.ubi.pt/ec/11/pdf/EC11-2012Mai-03.pdf

Ponte, Cristina; Jorge, Ana; Simões, José, &  Cardoso, Daniel (org). (2012). Crianças e internet em Portugal. Coimbra, MinervaCoimbra, ISBN: 978-972-798-312-4.

Newsletter "MiudosSegurosNa.Net" Ajudar Famílias, Escolas e Comunidades a Promover a Segurança de Crianças e Jovens Online Nº 174, 28.11.2012 http://miudossegurosna.net/newsletter/lt.php?id=Zx1WBgVSD1cERQJRVx8DBlZV


FCSH, Universidade NOVA - Av. de Berna, 26-C, 1069-061 Lisboa, Portugal

Email: cristina.ponte@fcsh.unl.pt