People process information differently — there’s no doubt about that. But one new study reveals there might be a major difference in the way men and women understand Scripture.
A recent analysis published in the Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture found that, while men prefer to read the Bible via digital mediums, they are less likely to remember what they’ve read when using popular apps like YouVersion.
Women, however, are fairly evenly split between reading Scripture through digital mediums like the YouVersion Bible app and picking up an actual printed Bible. They are also likely to retain the same amount of information, regardless of the medium they use, which tracks with research showing women tend to be more attentive readers, and as a result, have better reading comprehension.
The study, according to Christianity Today, asked participants to read through the New Testament book of Jude in both digital and printed mediums. And — across both sexes — most readers who read the epistle digitally walked away feeling somewhat confused.
“Digital users were nearly twice as likely to report feeling ‘confused’ with many indicating that they would like to ‘read it again’ or ‘study Jude more,’” said John Dyer, a Christian coder conducting his doctoral research on the Bible software industry.
Interestingly, for long-term readings and for study, Dyer found 66 percent and 65 percent, respectively, said they prefer a hard-copy Bible over using a digital Bible app. But about 45 percent of respondents said they use an app for devotional readings.
Dyer made sense of the data by pointing out Christians have done well to integrate technology into their faith journeys.
“Print and digital Bibles are usually framed in opposition to one another … but the data suggests the relationship is much more complex,” he told Christianity Today. “Bible reading today is more of a multimedia experience, with readers using a combination of print, screen, and audio depending on form of Bible engagement they are doing.”