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Technology

Computer science course enrollment, test scores, and computer-use figures indicate a disparity between boys and girls in technology. Research indicates that girls are more likely to take lower-end computing classes (e.g., data entry or word processing), less likely to identify computer science as a possible college major, and less likely to use computers on a weekly basis.

Girls display what one researcher calls "computer reticence," in part because culture and stereotypes steer them away from machines.

More personal computers were purchased for homes with boys than for homes with girls. This results in boys getting more experience with computers and thus being more comfortable with them.

A 1994 study of high school students found that the lack of knowledge of technological careers, the failure to connect what students were doing in class with future careers, and the lack of a sense of economic realities were particularly discouraging to girls, because they had less information about technology from experiences outside school.

There is a major difference in attitude between girls who chose to take technology education and those who did not; only a few girls were willing to be "pathbreakers" and challenge stereotypes about nontraditional careers for women. Most girls could not picture themselves in technological jobs and were reluctant to be in classes where they were one of the few girls.

Girls represent 17 percent of the Computer Science "AP" test takers, and less than 1 in 10 of the higher level Computer Science "AB" test takers.

Women are roughly 20 percent of IT professionals.

Women receive less than 28 percent of the computer science bachelor's degrees, down from a high of 37 percent in 1984. Computer science is the only field in which women's participation has actually decreased over time.

Women make up just 9 percent of the recipients of engineering-related bachelor's degrees.

Occupations which did not exist at the beginning of the 20th Century, computer scientists and analysts, for example, have become increasingly important in the information technology revolution. Yet, women's employment in this important field is actually falling behind, widening the occupational gap between women and men.

Nearly 75% of tomorrow's jobs will require use of computers; fewer than 33% of participants in computer courses and related activities are girls.

Sixteen percent fewer girls than boys reported ever talking to their parents about science and technology issues.

Computers and computer games are marketed almost exclusively to boys, and even those games purportedly for both sexes, such as elementary math software, reflect sexist attitudes: only 12 percent of the characters in such games are female, even then they are generally portrayed as either a mother or a princess.

More personal computers were purchased for homes with boys than for homes with girls. This results in boys getting more experience with computers and thus being more comfortable with them.

A 1994 study of high school students found that the lack of knowledge of technological careers, the failure to connect what students were doing in class with future careers, and the lack of a sense of economic realities were particularly discouraging to girls, because they had less information about technology from experiences outside school.

There is a major difference in attitude between girls who chose to take technology education and those who did not; only a few girls were willing to be "pathbreakers" and challenge stereotypes about nontraditional careers for women. Most girls could not picture themselves in technological jobs and were reluctant to be in classes where they were one of the few girls.

Females score slightly higher in computation, males slightly higher in complex problem solving, and there are no differences in math concepts.

 

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