How does biology explain the low numbers of women in computer science? Hint: it doesn’t.

When going through my google reader subscriptions that had piled up over the holidays, I found this presentation by Terri Oda on how (or how not) biology explains the low numbers of women in computer sciences, (re)posted on the Geek Feminism Blog. Being a mathematician, I particularly like slide 14. ;-)

Enjoy!

3 thoughts on “How does biology explain the low numbers of women in computer science? Hint: it doesn’t.

  1. Why hello there Almut :P

    I would like to be controversial and ask another question: why are there so little men in literature? Perhaps girls feel like they have more of a choice when it comes to choosing a subject… whereas men feel pressured in avoiding artsy subjects (unless they’re gay in which case they’re bright enough to ignore such stereotypes) look at the number of guys in fields like art history or literature… it’s close to none! So in order to avoid social pressure they all go into fields like computer sciences :D

    More seriously, I wish feminists would look more at both sides of the story… guys are discriminated just as much as women (if not more) when it comes to choosing a subject. And i’m sure they’re biologically not inferior at liberal arts :P
    That being said, it was a fun post and slideshow ;)

  2. Hi Romy,

    Thanks for commenting. You are completely right. Stereotypes and social pressure work for both genders.

    More seriously, I wish feminists would look more at both sides of the story… guys are discriminated just as much as women (if not more) when it comes to choosing a subject.

    And so they do. Unfortunately, the blog posts that I could now frantically try to find again to support my claim are all on German sites, so won’t be much use to you.

    Best wishes,
    Almut

  3. Thanks for your answer :)
    Buuuuuuut if we all agree that this social problem embraces all of the population and not just women then why put it under feminism in the first place? It only contributes to ostracising the problem as a “feminist” one instead of exposing its universality. And looking at the problem only by looking at it from the women’s side (such as asking “why are there less women in field X” instead of asking a more global question such as “why is there such a gender disparity between arts and sciences”) just shows the problem with the feminist approach: it looks at a wider gender problem only from the women’s perspective and makes it all about women.
    But then again tonight I decided to be an anal ex-philosophy major who likes to tackle on terms just because she has nothing better to do (knowing perfectly that really, we all agree :P)
    Should do breakfast tmrw…

Comments are closed.