Friday, December 18, 2009

Geeks Drive Girls Out of Computer Science

LiveScience reports:
The stereotype of computer scientists as geeks who memorize Star Trek lines and never leave the lab may be driving women away from the field, a new study suggests.

And women can be turned off by just the physical environment, say, of a computer-science classroom or office that's strewn with objects considered "masculine geeky," such as video games and science-fiction stuff. ...

Not only are women missing out on some of the "best career opportunities, but computer science is missing out on female perspectives," Cheryan and her colleagues wrote in a recent issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Why stop there? They should try filling up the classrooms and offices with girly stuff. They could use pink-colored textbooks and giving assignments to write programs to compute baby feeding schedules.

Where I live, most of the computer science students are foreigners. So maybe we need to encourage Americans by hanging American flags in the classroom. We could have some white pride posters, as there are not many white students.

The rest of the university is 60% female, so maybe we should have computer games and junk food in the English and Sociology classrooms.

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