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Girls not Going into CS

CmdrTaco posted more than 11 years ago | from the its-just-not-fair dept.

Education 1095

An anonymous reader writes "The Times has an article about what you already know: few girls go on to be IT women. For example, the 2001 AP exam in computer science drew 19,000 boys and just 2,400 girls. Information technology, despite its relative youth, has been far slower to approach gender equality than law or medicine, fields which decades ago overtly excluded women. The problem is not lack of smarts: Girls statistically outperform boys overall in grade school and make up 57% of college graduates, margins that are growing to the point that some colleges are toying with affirmative action for men."

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girls who play cs (1, Funny)

reptilian biotech (237193) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066721)

I know girls who play counter-strike... the numbers are growing! cs is where its at.. and it could lead to cs.

Re:girls who play cs (4, Funny)

moniker (9961) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066761)

Do you know they are girls for a fact?

Or are they just a lot of ten year old boys you are hearing over Voice Comm?

I never felt so old as when they added voice communication to counter-strike and I realized half the people who were kicking my ass hadn't hit puberty yet. /sigh

Re:girls who play cs (1, Funny)

painkillr (33398) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066878)

don't worry. they were all cheating.

FP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5066722)

Shoutz to the GCS boyz! -sq

I can assure you (5, Funny)

A Gremlin In Kremlin (634248) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066726)

few girls go on to be IT women

I can assure you the guys are even fewer in this case...

Re:I can assure you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5066816)

But it's so hard to tell. ;-)

we don't want chicks in computer science ;) (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5066731)

all chicks do in computer science is get fat and ugly sitting infront of the computer all day, just like us... ;)

we want HOT, sporty chicks :)

Re:we don't want chicks in computer science ;) (1)

A Gremlin In Kremlin (634248) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066746)

There are goodlooking geek girls too, though perhaps not so sporty...

you call this a career? (5, Funny)

nikko (158280) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066732)

No chicks and your job will be outsourced to India. Any wonder that all the tv shows are about lawyers and not geeks?

Re:you call this a career? (4, Interesting)

SunPin (596554) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066855)

Could it be that Hollywood has declared all geeks as their sworn enemies? And vice-versa?

I think that has something to do with it.

Has anyone else thought (2, Redundant)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066733)

that the article in question is about girls not going into CounterStrike and not Computer Science ? Damn those titles can be confusing at times :x

Girls in CS (5, Interesting)

bencc99 (100555) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066734)

Worth a look is this article [spodesabode.com] written by a girl doing CS at the university of kent.

Re:Girls in CS (2, Funny)

lubricated (49106) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066754)

Some one needs to tell her to use a bigger font.

Bigger Font Size is overrated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5066784)

Alternatively one could use a browser that provides zoom capabilities.

BTW - Does Opera provide a way to change the default zoom level?

Re:Bigger Font Size is overrated (1)

OldMiner (589872) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066810)

BTW - Does Opera provide a way to change the default zoom level?

Although it doesn't resolve the issue with non-zoomed images, one can definitely zoom their text by default by setting a user-style sheet something like: * { font-size: 36pt !important } I believe you can also simply set the default as well, but it could fall prey to some evil web designer who thinks that tiny fonts look better.

Re:Girls in CS (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5066857)

Worth a look is this article [spodesabode.com] written by a girl doing CS at the university of kent.

From the article:

Now, half way through the second year I struggle to think of 5 other girls who've made it this far on the CS (computer science) course. The rest just faded away throughout the first year including one young, exceedingly tall, blonde and shapely girl from Sweden whose disappearance was mourned by the lads for months afterwards.

I'm on this course and I (plus a couple of hundred other guys) know exactly who's she's talking about!

IN SOVIET RUSSIA... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5066736)

CS Majors get into girls. (Hey, maybe I should move to Russia...)

YOU ARENT INTO GIRLS?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5066839)

FAGZ( )R!

:PppPPPppPPP

Communism did a good job in promoting women (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5066854)

Think about this:

1) In Russia between 60%and 70% of university graduates are women
2) Between 80 and 85% of medical doctors are women (being a physician is considered a women's job- surgery is however an exception)
3) Between 30 and 40% of engineering graduates are women
4) Over 40% of the people holding a doctoral('Candidate') degree are womem. They have a different system, have more academic degrees than in the US: after 'master' comes the 'Candidate' (which is equivalent to a US PhD) and then 'Doctor' (Russian Doctor is much more than the US PhD, it is equivalent with 'Habilitation' in Germany or to 'Aggregation' in France/Belgium)

Sad news ... Maurice Gibb dead at 53 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5066738)

I just read some sad news on Drudge Report [drudgereport.com] - Bee Gees singer Maurice Gibb was found dead in his Miami hospital room this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly a Disco icon.

And this is a bad thing how? (3, Funny)

DickBreath (207180) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066740)

And why is this a bad thing?


Girls are okay. Programming is more fun. Guys are more fun. Geek guys are the most fun.

Re:And this is a bad thing how? (1)

rainman31415 (576575) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066827)

guys may be more fun....but i jsut cant find them attractive. this is where the problem lies. im all about 'bros before hoes', but there comes a point when guys jsut dont cut it anymore, and the relentless call to women must be heeded. its a losing battle, but fight on!!!

i eat script kiddies for fun
rainman

Re:And this is a bad thing how? (1, Troll)

DickBreath (207180) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066885)

I'm sure the majority here wuold agree with you. However, some of us don't find it a battle at all, and don't hear any call that must be heeded.

Having a minority opinion is grounds for being modded down.

Nevertheless, even if for some strange reason you find women more attractive than men, my original question remains: Women not going into IT is a bad thing exactly how?

Re:And this is a bad thing how? (1)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066875)

This is where sex comes in.

So what? (4, Insightful)

chrisseaton (573490) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066741)

If the girls are smart enough to get in, but just don't choose to, why do we want to persuade them? All descrimination is bad, positive descrimination is included.

Re:So what? (5, Interesting)

GroovBird (209391) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066791)

> All descrimination is bad, positive descrimination is included.

True, but you might want to investigate why this is so. Perhaps there is something inhibiting them to make a free choice.

Dave

Re:So what? (2)

GMontag (42283) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066823)

True, but you might want to investigate why this is so. Perhaps there is something inhibiting them to make a free choice.

You imply that their choice was not free because it is not a choice that you agree with.

If we had women protesting that they were not allowed to choose, that would be one thing, but all we have is a bunch of grousing that women are merely making different choices.

The workforce now gravitates to choice by individuals based on ability and I find that to be a wounderful thing.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5066859)

Exactly! It seems to me that people (men) are saying "Damn! There's not enough pussy in this class!"

Re:So what? (5, Informative)

neuroticia (557805) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066866)

Let's put it this way. Within one week of taking my first day of a "basic" programming course in HS, I had dropped out and switched to art (And I'm totally non-artistic). The teacher a.) refused to shake my hand when I introduced myself b.) never called on me when I had my hand raised for a question or for an answer c.) only called on me during the two times I was not paying attention, d.) argued with me when I had given a perfectly acceptable alternative workflow that would half the work, and e.) Refused to reccomend that I be put in a more advanced class, despite the fact that I knew more than 20% of the students in the more advanced class. I decided I'd MUCH prefer taking a lousy class I had no interest in than taking a lousy class I was absolutely interested in.

Flash forward. Another HS. They stuck me in "typing classes" and "word processing".

And what do I do today? I'm an IT person.

I'll NEVER take another IT class in highschool (because I'm too old) or in college without first speaking to the teachers in-depth and deciding if a.) taking the class will teach me anything b.) the teacher will be willing to teach me anything and c.) if the class is equal to or above my current level of knowledge.

I've found that it's beneficial to introduce myself with a full list of my creds, experiences, and a categorical list of what I do and do not know. I seem to get a MUCH better education/reaction from tech guys that way than if I tried to be a modest lil' girl. The problem with most women is that they're either so timid, or they lie about what they know to come across better. Fools.

-Sara

Re:So what? (2, Insightful)

SonicBurst (546373) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066802)

In a similar vein, the original poster mentioned colleges playing with the idea of affirmative action for men. Well if affirmative action in general had never been implemented (ie: recruits accepted blindly based on test scores alone, not gender or race) then I don't think we would have had this problem.

I say just let nature take its course. If this results in more women graduating, fine. If it results in more men in college, fine. Just don't push people in to an institution because "society" wants race/gender equality in everything, even though there are obvious instances where we are not equal.

Now, back on topic, if the girls don't want to be in IT, what's the problem? Again, don't push them in to something they don't want to do. And it's not a case of men not letting them in. I think, if anything, that us geeks are typically more accepting of differences (OK, OS holy wars excepted!) than the rest of society on the whole.

Re:So what? (3, Interesting)

OldMiner (589872) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066862)

In a similar vein, the original poster mentioned colleges playing with the idea of affirmative action for men. Well if affirmative action in general had never been implemented (ie: recruits accepted blindly based on test scores alone, not gender or race) then I don't think we would have had this problem.

I believe you may be slightly off on that there. I have never heard of a school accepting a person based solely on gender or race. What normally happens is that there are several areas considered in admission: standardized test score, GPA, gender, race, geographic location, and so on. Then you, say, get 3 points for a 33 on the ACT, 4 points for a 4.0, and 1 point for being a female. The idea is to give a slight benefit of the doubt to the female/male/white guy who happened to get a 28 on the ACT.

Further, almost all schools have a bare minimum requirement for tests/GPA (it's frequently a composite score sort of thing, 3.5 & 1200 on SAT, 3.0 & 1400 SAT). And state schools, at least in all of the state I know of, are rigidly bound to these. Schools are allowed a specific number of exceptions for admittance every semester, so that they can use to admit someone, say, like myself who had no high school GPA to speak of.

Re:So what? (1)

dreamtyger (589321) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066858)

Because the gender with the consumer power is female. If we ever want e-commerce to really work, we have to reach women. To reach women, we need women behind the scenes. Face it, women and men think differently, and are driven by different needs. You can't fulfill those needs without knowing and understanding them.

Re:So what? (2)

deanc (2214) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066863)

What's wrong with an attempt at persuading them to do something that they might not have considered, before? Isn't that the fairest means of recruiting at all, for those opposed to any sort of "Affirmitive Action"?

Maybe they "don't choose to" because they've not considered it. Would you be against college recruiters from Yale seeking out brilliant students in the sticks of Appalachia to "persuade them" in the event they "don't choose to" normally apply to Yale?

Girls not into CS (2, Funny)

Rayonic (462789) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066742)

Well, Counter-Strike does seem like a boy-ish game.

The dating dilemma for CS majors (5, Funny)

Roosey (465478) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066743)

To quote Triumph the Insult Comic Dog:

"I mean, you've got your veritable pick of the litter. You can choose from all kinds of guys who have no idea how to please you!"

"She said pretty much, yeah!"

57% is misleading (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5066745)

The 57% figure is mostly for women who get liberal arts degrees. Now, not to badmouth those degrees, but the academic rigor for my CompE degree was (just a touch) higher than for the average elementary education major.
The smart women usually end up in med school or law school, but society (not necessarily even the 'evil' white males but women's groups too) seems to push girls more towards law and medicine rather than engineering.

Re:57% is misleading (3, Insightful)

Gyorg_Lavode (520114) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066870)

I agree that women are more biased towards law and med. Mainly because it is these majors that are much more high profile than engineering. I think people with the disposition for engineering get it from having curiosity in the way things work fostered as a child, something that is probably not as likely for girls unless the curiosity is very strong. On the other hand, if a child is highly intellegent, media will encourage medical and law educations, (you see alot more hospital and law office dramas than you do engineering... and for good reason).

On another note, elementary teaching is a whole 'nuther kinda hard from engineering. I can build a circuit board but God help me if I'm trusted w/ teaching grade school children. What it lacks in technical knowledge requirements (my mother who teaches gradeschool was unable to help me with my sophomore HS math homework), it makes up for in phychological requirements, (having to deal w/ 30 something separate phyche's of pre-pubescent and pubescent children).

Wish we had that problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5066747)

At my school, University of Missouri-Rolla, guys outnumber girls about 3 to 1. It really sucks. Being an engineering/technology school probably doesn't help either.

It's all about mathmatics (0, Funny)

xombo (628858) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066752)

Statistics show that guys outpreform girls in mathmatics, and that girls outpreform guys in literature, and it takes more mathmatic skills to get a coumputer science degree. I'm not trying to descriminate or anything, but that is just what the statistics are showing. Of course, in america we try and say that everyone is made equal, but face of it is, we aren't. A guy has more upper body strength that women, but women have more ... ugh ... boobies?

Re:It's all about mathmatics (2)

DickBreath (207180) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066783)

Statistics show that guys outpreform girls in mathmatics

Maybe word just hasn't gotten out yet about how easy it is to be an MCSE?


A guy has more upper body strength that women, but women have more ... ugh ... boobies?

It all depends on what you're looking for. Guys have more interesting things lower down. :-) Plus the upper body strength. Plus interest in computers. etc.

Re:It's all about mathmatics (2)

Psx29 (538840) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066850)

Guys have more interesting things lower down. :-)

Hell, with a slashdot name like that I'm sure you could write a whole paper on the subject...

Re:It's all about mathmatics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5066832)

Of course, in america we try and say that everyone is made equal, but face of it is, we aren't.

How many women can outperform you in math?

Quite a few I bet, so obviously there isnt something blocking math in women. It's all practise and upbringing.

Re:It's all about mathmatics (1)

rainman31415 (576575) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066843)

Quite a few I bet, so obviously there isnt something blocking math in women. It's all practise and upbringing.
but we arent talking about inate ability. developement and upbringing is exactly what we are refering to...
--eat me
rainman

Re:It's all about mathmatics (5, Interesting)

neema (170845) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066844)

Current statistics don't imply it's something in genetics. Take, for example, research that brings up the fact that white people, on average, do much better in school than black people.

However, research has shown that if you take a black kid and put him in a rich white kid's family and put the white kid in the black kid's family, their performances will switch along with the family. In the argument of nature vs. nurture, our modern day concept of intelligence seems to favor nurture.

The same with this thing. Perhaps it is the enviornment that girls are introduced to computers, or the fact that it's kind of presented as a guy thing to do, that attributes to the fact that they're just not interested in it.

Re:It's all about mathmatics (1)

spectecjr (31235) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066849)

Statistics show that guys outpreform girls in mathmatics, and that girls outpreform guys in literature, and it takes more mathmatic skills to get a coumputer science degree.

I don't know when the last time was that you looked at a C.S. degree, but the math involved is minimal compared to a physics degree.

Simon

girls (0)

schnits0r (633893) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066756)

I tihnk geekl girls are hot. I wish more girls would go in to cs instead of not going in to anything.

Yeah... (5, Funny)

kien (571074) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066757)

I wonder why [geekfestival.com] women haven't embraced IT?

--K

Re:Yeah... (2)

Jonboy X (319895) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066796)

I (a dude) dunno about you, but that might be just as strong a reason for me not to go into CS. ;)

Well DUH (5, Insightful)

Jethro (14165) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066759)

The problem is not lack of smarts: Girls statistically outperform boys overall in grade school and make up 57% of college graduates,
That's it exactly. Girls are way too smart to go into a field where everyone is overworked, overstressed and underappreciated.

Hell. I can't even tell my parents what I do for a living. I have to dumb it down so much that it means absolutely nothing. "I work with computers" doesn't cut it because everyone does nowadays. "Computer Security" means nothing to them, beucase, what, the computer is going to get up and leave?

Then there's weeks wehere I have to do The Work Of 10 People. I call those "Every Week". In my current job I actually get THANKED for that, which is an IMPROVEMENT over every previous job I've had. But do I get paid extra? Nope. Do I get a better computer to do the work on? Nope. Do I get a comfortable CHAIR? Nope. (please don't OSHA me. It's not that uncomfortable). Do I get a door I can close so people will stop bugging me when I have to build 10 webservers from scratch in 1 hour? Nope.

If I had any kind of brains I'd get the hell out of this field so fast the Dilbert strips would fly off the cubicle walls.

I'm suggesting girls have WAY too much common sense to get into this in the first place.

(That said, the girls I do know who are in IT are absolutely great at it).

The problem (5, Interesting)

polyphemus-blinder (540915) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066760)

is that most women simply aren't intersted in IT. It's pretty obvious to me. How many of you found it beneficial to expound on the virtues of open source software or the beauty of TCP/IP structure during a date? Probably not many.

That's not to say that they can't be good at it, though. It seems that women will study harder and get better grades, but its gonna be guys hanging out after class discussing the stuff in the pub because they have a genuine interest. Just my two cents.

Re:The problem (1)

Amiga Trombone (592952) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066808)

I'm not sure I'd call girls lack of interest in IT the problem. I'd say the problem is our absurd obsession with "equallity". It's all well and good that everybody has the same opportunities, but trying to force certain groups into occupations/situations that they're just not interested in just to produce a balanced outcome is silly. How about just trusting indivduals to know what they want for themselves?

Re:The problem (1)

ToastedBagel (638204) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066830)

> How many of you found it beneficial to expound on the virtues of open source software or the beauty of TCP/IP structure during a date?

Jennifer Lopez was being interviewed by TechTV a short while ago and making a pretty profound comment. To summarize it, she was saying that she doesn't care much about computers, but her fiance (Ben Affleck) is really into computers (pretty hardcore geek from what I guess from the Ben Affleck interview also at TechTV). So whenever computer stuff comes up, one asks for a generous help and the other, the hero, rescues her. That's why everything works out great! The point is this; great understanding and appreciation of the beauty of TCP/IP (or UDDI or SOAP or .NET or whatever) may not directly get you a date, BUT the fact that only small number of women study computer science would be very beneficial to establish a great relationship in the end.

So what...Stop the hand wringing (1)

footNipple (541325) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066763)

I hope it's also being reported that fewer boys than girls choose professions such as nursing, interior decorating and midwife

There are big differences between men and women. File free to file that one under the "No S#@t" Category.

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Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5066766)

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IT'S NOT THAT KIND OF CS (1)

miketang16 (585602) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066767)

I know, I know... that's the first thing I thought of when I saw CS, but it actually stands for Computer Science. Anyway, as for the actual issue, I don't think it's a gender bias issue that girls aren't as into IT as guys. It's not that they're not smart enough, it's just that on average most girls aren't as interested in comps as guys are. I suppose we like our toys. =)

affirmative action (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5066770)

Affirmative Action is wrong. It's like battling A with A, only you pretend that you battle A with AA.

This Should Sum It Up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5066771)

I was recently watching Taildaters, an MTV show where two people go on a date and several onlookers provide a commentary. Well, at the end of one date a girl summed it up with "Don't use so many bigs words -- girls don't like them." I think that the problem with computers (which, itself, is mutlisyllabic) is that we have to many big words.

umm.. Duh? (3, Informative)

RiscIt (95258) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066776)

Cars, excavating equipment, COMPUTERS. all examples of machines. Sure the computer is candy coated, but it's still a machine.

Now tell me.. how many women do you know actually LIKE "playing with" machines? This is the same male-dominated issue to affects the construction industry, the auto-machanic business, and many others.

The female gender doesn't generally WANT much to do with mechanical things (I'm not questioning their ability, just stating a trend in their apparent desire).

More than that, computers usually don't allow them to demonstrate their great personal/social skills (which are more often then not, 1000 times better than men's).

Re:umm.. Duh? (1)

kingkade (584184) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066846)

Now tell me.. how many women do you know actually LIKE "playing with" machines? This is the same male-dominated issue to affects the construction industry, the auto-machanic business, and many others.

Yeah, we're just wired differently and are drawn to single, complex scenarios (computers, train sets, entire recreation of Apollo 11 lunar module and landing capsule out of Legos(tm)) while women are drawn to more social tasks (psycology, human resources, politics, single-handedly spreading rumors at the speed of light about that bitch Susan in accounting), with the ability to concentrate on more things at one time.

More than that, computers usually don't allow them to demonstrate their great personal/social skills (which are more often then not, 1000 times better than men's).

I'm a man and I'm not anti-social...ya bastard.

Consequence of political correctness (2, Insightful)

Jesus IS the Devil (317662) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066780)

Girls in general just aren't as strong in analytical thinking as guys are. Simple as that.

But most people are taught to pretend they don't know this (even though it's so damn obvious) because when we were all in grade school, our teachers taught us that "everyone is equal".

Sure... and that's why the NBA is full of Black people.

what does (1)

alcobad (640569) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066781)

I work at an IT company in Kansas City, and it seems like they are bringing in a lot of women. Probably 40:60 women to men.

btw, I hope everyone's joking when they are mentioning Counter-Strike. ;)

Re:what does (1)

miketang16 (585602) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066792)

sad part is they aren't.. i.e. my post above..lol

Mathematics, Human Involvement (5, Insightful)

OldMiner (589872) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066782)

As pointed out by some already, statistics tend to show that men do better in mathematics.

In addition, I've also seen some state one reason for this gender disparity is that fields such as law and medicine have much more human involvement. Computer science, however, is frequently detached, sometimes to the point of seeming human hostile. And, you'll pardon the stereotypical thinking, but it seems that women tend to gravitate towards jobs which involve significant human involvement. An emphasis on human factors engineering and interface design might make computer science programs more attractive to those looking for a more human-centered job, male or female.

could it be .... (5, Insightful)

ltwally (313043) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066785)

... that there might also be fewer girls interested in CS?. Just because fewer girls apply for CS degrees does not automatically mean that there is some sort of bias against women in CS programs. One possible reason for this could be that despite recent progress, CS/MIS/IT work is still seen as relatively geeky. And in my honest experience, females (especially younger ones) seem more influenced by social pressures 'n wut-not than guys are. It could be that this geeky image that still surrounds our job field is also hampering the influx of women into the field. Just a hypothesis... but it feels true.

At any rate... I know very few girls in the CS program at my skool [indstate.edu] . But those few girls that enroll are treated as well, if not better, than the guys in the program (we're all happy to have women around... duh!).

Anacdotal Evidence (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5066788)

I'm sure I'll be deeply hated for my opinion on this subject, but oh well...

There are women that can program. They exist. But the reality of programming is that it is really really hard and takes more than just intelligence. You have to love computers. If you don't love programming, you are going to suck.

Most women simply aren't built to love computers. While some do exist, the number of females who love computers is drastically lower than that of men.

People can whine all they want about society, and colleges, and TV and blah blah blah, but it all boils down to the fact that *I* love computers. I have played video games since Go Bots were cutting edge toys. No one told me that this was something I should do. I just did it. While I was doing this girls were sitting in class drawing their names in big doodle-y lines *because they freaking liked doing that for hours on end*.

It's no big surprise to me that these girls didn't enroll en masse into CS courses, and that the ones who did constantly asked me to do their projects.

There's this little thing called the real world, and as un-PC as it is to face, in the real world women are different than men.

Failure to achieve gender neutrality? (2)

GMontag (42283) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066789)

Humm, so having all of the opportunity in the world and choose not to join a field is somehow bad, or at any rate, is cast as not good?

This mangling of the language seems to be resulting in a mangling of ideals too. If women want to be in CS, fine, if the make a different choice that should be fine too.

Male/female balance in CS is NOT the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5066790)

At this point, why would anyone go into CS? Why invest 4 years of tuition, just to compete with foreign-subsidized H1Bs? You're the next contestant on America's favorite gameshow "Who wants to work for peanuts?" The current state of the IT industry makes it an equally poor option for either male or female students.

Girls are distracting in class (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5066798)

Especially in CS where most of the students are sexually frustrated geeks. Put a hot or even average chick in that kind of setting and your asking for trouble. There is even the typical alpha male competition of geeks trying to out geek each other with their extended knowledge of anime and obscure unix commands.

Gender equality is a myth (2, Informative)

Anik315 (585913) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066799)

The pyschologies of men and women are different, and its not just because of cultural pressure.

That's all feminsm should be about: letting women do what they want.

There's not any social benenfit in trying to artificially generate gender equity where pychological economies of scale will result in huge gender disparities. As long as there aren't restrictive sociocultural barriers preventing women from doing what they want, there nothing wrong with have gender disparities.

This doesn't mean girls aren't smart, but rather that they think computer science is for dorks. lol.

Re:Gender equality is a myth (4, Interesting)

Psx29 (538840) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066883)

As long as there aren't restrictive sociocultural barriers preventing women from doing what they want, there nothing wrong with have gender disparities.

I happen to agree, this whole mess reminds of this [cnn.com] . That is to say, political correctness and 'equality' have gone too far in today's society.

Girls to Guys Ratio (4, Funny)

moertle (140345) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066801)

I go to a relatively small tech school and I would kill for a 44% male population as opposed to the ~70%.

Golly, what they're MISSING... (5, Insightful)

rkent (73434) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066806)

Hm. It's a damn shame; girls not going into computer science are missing out on endless opportunities. The opportunity to enter an already glutted job market. The opportunity to have your skills derided or just plain ignored by your superiors at work. The opportunity to join legions of online communities of their underpaid, lonely, insecure male counterparts.

The point I'm trying to make is, there are very few women in the garbage collection or plumbing industries either. But almost noone considers this a terrible sign of gender inequity propagating itself through the ages.

Computer science is ostensibly a highly-skilled profession which can lead you on to great pay and excellent opportunities, but I think we're approaching (may have already hit) a reckoning in the field: we're being viewed more and more as an essential service, not a "core competency." That is, just like electricians or others who are also technically expert but whose use is minimized to keep expenses down. And who get very little respect within the organization except for the 15 minutes after they fix a problem.

Anyway, I'm not trying to make this a huge polemic against the treatment of information workers, but the point is, maybe it's becoming a field women don't WANT to be a part of, and for good reason. Maybe the college girl who pursues sales or marketing or preps for an MBA isn't afraid of the tech jargon and male braggadocio in CS; maybe she just thinks it's a boring field leading to crappy jobs. And that's maybe not a horribly innaccurate way to think anymore.

Maybe it's because IT (sometimes) sucks (1)

Artful Codger (245847) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066809)

I think there's still a social attitude out there that implies that "fixing" and "maintaining" are naturally male jobs. Being traditionally male careers, of course they pay well.

But guys this cuts both ways. After spending 20+ years in technical support and maintenance roles, I now know that ... it SUCKS. I moved out of support and into programming 5 years ago to get into "making" things (applications etc) and away from the straight support role. I'm much happier.

So, this maybe proves yet again that women are smarter because they avoid such positions as IT support...?

why would anyone go into CS now? (5, Interesting)

small_dick (127697) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066811)

granted, there might be a lot of jobs doing bugfixes or something in isolated projects, but it appears the future of science and engineering lay outside the borders of the USA.

go scan the classifieds in any major city. it ain't 1997 anymore. (this is where you say "no one hires from the papers anymore") okay, go look at dice, craigslist or some major corporation's website. looking pretty sparse.

my brother was working for one of the large corporations that helped push the h1b program through congress several years ago. they had a website full of programming jobs...hundreds. yet the company was laying off people? they were getting hundreds of resumes every month, and hiring no one. a scam to show an artificial shortage...big business and congress looked each other in the eye and winked.

adios, CS careers.

Well .. duh .. women are smarter than us! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5066813)

So obviously they won't choose something as lame as CS.

Affirmative action for men? bah (1)

pr0nbot (313417) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066817)

The difference between affirmative action for women in the last couple of decades and affirmative action for men now is that women were excluded explicitly and unfairly whereas men now -- who have had the same opportunities -- are being outperformed. I don't see much of a case for positive discrimination.

Why is this NEWs? (3, Redundant)

pauljlucas (529435) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066818)

This has been true for quite some time. This isn't "new"s. Before CS, it was EE.

I don't even want CS (1)

khold (164649) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066822)

I am a guy, and I just started College with the plan of being a CS major. As soon as I noticed the Calculus I and Calculus II requirements, I quickly switched my major to Network Computing, with a Computer Science minor. I am not that bad at math, but I definitely don't want to take Calculus.

Naturally so (2, Funny)

StarBar (549337) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066824)

If girls designed the computer it would probably not be looking like it does. It would be:
  • based on fuzzy logic
  • 10^6 times more sensetive to gamma-rays
  • randomly refusing to understand instructions
  • needing extra careful touch each month
  • complaining about lack of input instead of asking for it
  • asking you feel like pressing enter instead of tell you to
  • comforting you when you do wrong
  • cleaning out bugs and system errors automatically
  • voice driven rather then keyboard

They simply don't like the machines we've created. Have they ever been greatful for the washing
machines, vacum cleaners, stoves, refrigators and such? No!! Instead they are taking over the world.
Take cover boys!

/StarBar

Re:Naturally so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5066868)

WHAT? You invented the washing machine, vacuum cleaner, and refrigerator?

How old are you?

Thanks for claiming credit for something you didn't do. Oh, being male qualifies you to say "we"? But, I bet there are enough women who know more than you about any field you can think of. By your logic of being able to claim things, shouldnt those women say "we" since they are actually more knowledgable of the invention?

In other news . . . (1)

CVaneg (521492) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066826)

Scientists determine color of sky to be blue

Terrorism deemed "bad" by President

61 Percent in College Women?!? (1)

Glindonna (636715) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066828)

That's it, I'm going back to school... Glin, 37 Years Old and Partyin' Hard!

IT != CS (5, Insightful)

tshak (173364) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066829)

What are we talking about, CS or IT? CS is the study of computers. IT is the study of Technology when related to Business and Information Systems. Of course the two disciplines share some commonality. For example, IT requires certain aspects of CS because many IT positions require programming proficiency. However, I don't expect someone who is in IT to code up a simple OS or a basic language and compiler just as I don't expect someone in CS to design and develop a solution for a national call center's contact management.

So, are girls not interested in CS, IT, or both?

A cs major does not a programmer make (2)

codepunk (167897) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066837)

My observations over the years has made me conclude that college is for two types of people. Firstly there are those that do not have the dicipline to train themselves. Second are the ones trying to obtain a position that they have no natural talent for. Programming is not really something that can be taught you have to be built for it. Ninety percent of the programmers that I know fit into the first and second category. The good programmers I know are in the last 10%, they do it because it is their god given talent.

Its the damn calculus (2)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066838)

I was a CS major until I found out I had to take all that damn calculus.

What does calculus have to do with computers? absolutely nothing.

I hate math but I love computers, I'm a guy, but I've heard girls are not usually good at math.

Hard to be a woman in CS... (5, Interesting)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066840)

I know two women who majored in CS -- one's a good friend and the other one is my sister.

The real problem, IMO, is that there seems to be a couple of guys in any given CS class who seriously cannot handle women, and who one way or the other make life hell for the women in the class. Some are just plain creeps, some are always trying to upstage them, some seem convinced that women in CS get through just because they're given preferential treatment. My sis used to get comments like "Geez, you're smart for a girl" at least once a semester -- that's a pretty shitty thing to say; if you think it's a compliment, it's not.

Then there are the usual stalker types who get their jollies sending out creepy emails and eyeballing girls in the class -- my friend decided to work rather than go to grad school at Madison because this happened *twice* (on the level of restrining order), fer chrissake.

Granted this is just anecdotal and two people does not a study make. But say what you want about societal pressures on girls not to be scientific or a predisposition against math, what I've seen drive them away is a hostile environment that doesn't seem to exist in most other fields.

What can we do to fix it? I just don't know. When they bothered my sister, the solution was obvious but definately not constructive. My friend used the law to help her (restraining orders and all), but that didn't seem to help in the overall scheme of things either -- who needs that sort of pressure while taking 400-level CS courses?

Anyhow, that's the problem as I see it. I don't have a good solution, but it's something we *must* work on.

because they think its boring (3, Interesting)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066845)

Computer science is lonely, i hate that feeling you get on a friday evening when your stuck in a basement lab debugging on your own. The only difference between boys and girls in CS is that girls realise that its going to be like this _before_ they choose their degree where as us guys dont realise until half way through the second year that actually, human company can be more interesting than assembly language.

Hopeless (5, Funny)

S.I.O. (180787) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066847)

> 19,000 boys and just 2,400 girls

Before you get ecstatic that you have a 10% chance to get laid, out of those 2400 girls 1000 are lesbians and 1000 are dating businessmen and lawyers. So it's more like 1%. Now go have a beer!

Here is an Interesting HOWTO... (1)

sybarite (566454) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066848)

Although it is written about Linux specifically, I think it applies to the topic at large. HOWTO Encourage Women in Linux [nmt.edu]

Geek Superiority, and an Uninviting Atmosphere (3, Interesting)

Flamesplash (469287) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066851)

I think part of the problem is that male geeks tend to have a bit of a superiority complex as a generalization, and that same is not true for female engineers, so they tend to feel like they are not as good as the guys simply because all the guys make them feel as such. It's not really inviting

I would say that the environment is not one to be condusive to a female. Let alone the hormone factor.

A very appropriate comic [stanford.edu] .

I think that much like females outperforming males in elementary school they also do so in engineering programs. I knew a few Engineers at school that could kick any guys but in what they did.

This is NOT news for nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5066853)

This is NOT news for nerds; albeit stuff that matters.

A factor of interest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5066856)

Could it quite possibly be because the majority of women are not interested in CS? Hair stylists are for the most part women, but it's because most men are not interested in it. I hate the knee-jerk reaction, "It's not 50/50!! There must be some form of discrimination!"

Exclusive == Desireable (1)

Otto the Wombat (301360) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066865)

One of the main reasons women during the suffrage period were so adamant about being allowed into the fields of law and medicine were because they were exclusively male occupations. This made them harder for women to get into and therefore made them more desireable, both due to the challenge involved, and the status those fields symbolized. So maybe the solution here is to become more exclusive. That way women will want to get into the field just to see what they're missing.

So, here's the scenario: A bunch of IT guys standing around the water cooler, discussing IT stuff, laughing and obviously having a good time. A woman comes up

Woman: What's going on?
Men: (Instantly shutting up) Nothing.
Woman: What's so funny?
Men: Sorry, we're not allowed to tell you.
Woman: Why aren't you allowed to tell me?
Men: You know the rules, women aren't allowed in IT, or to know anything about IT.
Woman: Well, I'll fix that! (stomps off)

You see how easy it could be?

It's worse in my college. (2)

Dark Lord Seth (584963) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066871)

Okay, let's take all 2nd year ICT classes at my college. For various reasons I won't explain the nasty details and difference between the dutch and the US education system, so please don't go ballistic over any grades and/or level of progress we use. It isn't my idea anyways, let's just assume the average age of a 2nd year ICT class is 18, for comparisons. To get back at the subject, we have about 140 students (2nd year ICT only) of which about five are female. Two off them never show up for some mysterious reason, but my best guess is that the either don't exist or have left already. So about 3,6% (notice the comma, thank you) of all 2nd year ICT students are female. I don't know about other years or other colleges, but my best guess is that 1st, 3rd and 4th year ICT classes have the same percentages and that this is applicable to other ICT colleges as well.

Then again, one of the three remaining girls is in my class. Blonde, blue eyes, single, nice butt and actually quite smart. (I'd give further comments, however, I'm not secist, I'm going to show her this after I posted it and Slashchick might throw a hissy fit again if I do so, so I won't.) She's capable of coding in C++ (a bit, we're still only students after all) and is quite good with networking as well. And she's snuggly, too! :) If there is a God, I'm sure he prefers quality over quantity!

sad, but true (1)

protomala (551662) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066873)

I just got into computer science, 40 people, just one girl.
It's far worse than Electric Engennering I studied before (25/3).

All or nothing (2)

peterpi (585134) | more than 11 years ago | (#5066876)

This is almost on-topic ;)

I found when I was at uni that it tended to be an all or nothing affair with girls and coding. They either computely sucked at it, or they really were good.

I have absolutely no clue as to why that was the case, but it was!

moron repealing the trickcull DOWn effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5066877)

maybe the girls are waiting 'til IT's N0T such a cesspool DOWn here?

hangin's too good for those scurvy ba$tards upon wall street of deceit.. it'll be a warm day in finland before they get any more trickle DOWn from US, up on the pacific crest, right robbIE? tell 'em.

why, we wouldn't buy into any more payper liesense, billonlyUS stock markup fraud, if they tickled all over US.

you can bet your .asp, if you waNT to, but don't come crying to US, when nothing trickles DOWn.

look for: va.msn.?net?, trickle symbull: (VAST) [trustworthycomputing.com]

because.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5066881)

girls are stupid! they rather go to Cancun or Mardi Gras.

Think about this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5066884)

How many people can actually really afford college? I am a student, paying my way through community college. I've actively applied fro student loans, and surprisingly, there is little available for me.

Why is this? Think what you may about what I'm about to say, but I'll tell you the reason. Men are the minority because we don't qualify for the same types of financial aid that females and "minorities" qualify for. I make very little income, and yet, I was denied by FAFSA. There are plenty of "women in engineering" or similar grant programs. But what about men?

Also. Aside from typical minumum wage jobs, how many women get into manual labor jobs that require little to no college. I'd say that less than 5% of construction workers are women.

Just some stuff to think about.
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