More women than ever are entering science and math-related professions. Isn't that a good thing?
Sure it is, but let's look at some research.
The Women's College Magazine at Santa Monica College
...from an article by Anita Price, Spring 2000
While gender gaps in math and science have narrowed in the past six years, the 1998 American Association of University Women Educational Foundation report Gender Gaps: Where Schools Still Fail Our Children finds that a major new gender gap in technology has emerged. Girls tend to come to the classroom with less exposure to computers and believe that they are less adept at using technology. While boys program and problem-solve with computers, girls use computers for word processing - the 1990s version of typing. Further, only 17% of Advanced Placement test takers in computer science are girls. ....Gender Gaps found that when compared to boys, girls are at a significant disadvantage as technology is increasingly incorporated into the classroom.
The information in the report was gathered by studying several hundred studies about education reform and gender differences. It found that, in particular
Girls are more likely than boys to enroll in clerical and data-entry classes and less likely to enroll in advanced computer science and graphics courses.
Girls encounter fewer powerful, active female role models in computer games or software.
The gender gap in technology widens from grades seven to eight.
Teachers receive little or no training in how to use technology to create an innovative, engaging and equitable learning environment.
Girls cluster in traditionally female occupations in vocational education and school-to-work programs that prepare students for jobs after high school, and still tend to pick stereotypically female college majors, such as education or health services.
School software programs often reinforce gender bias and stereotypical gender roles.
Boys exhibit higher computer self-confidence and a more positive attitude about computers than do girls.
...see the full report at this address:
Also, according to a report by the Committee on the Status of Women in Computer Science and Engineering Research, the number of women entering the field has declined from 37% in 1984 to 19% in 1995. The 1991 AAUW report Shortchanging Girls, Shortchanging America initiated a push to encourage more women to enter math and science fields. Did this push move some females away from potential careers in technology, resulting in the statistic above?