C Swift (
Wed, 5 Aug 1998 18:58:52 -0700

One needs to distinguish *what type* of computer classes are referred to.
Studies I've read show that women tend to be quite proficient in *using*
technology while males become the *creators* of technology (i.e. the
hardware, the programming and software, etc.). "Computer class" could mean
a lot of different things. When you talk about computers being required in
economic life -- I think you're talking about being competent to *use* a
computer. I don't believe women are lagging behind in that area. One
study I read a year or so ago showed that as users, women generally
outdistanced men in compentency. Of course, all that does is put them back
in the 'secretary' role as helper to men.

> One suggestion on how to deal with the current huge skew in favor of
> boys in computer science is to provide computer classes as required
> parts of communication and science programs. That way, the girls can't
> get pushed out as easily. Computers are after all required in economic
> life now. Note that the domination of male over female in computer
> science is about equal to the gap between men and women in terms of pay
> in this country.
> Linda Purrington,

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