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Why is Computer Science regarded as a "boys" Subject?*. Watch

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    (Original post by TiggerTiger)
    What makes a subject primarily a "Boys" subject.

    This question has been playing on my mind since I started Sixth Form in 2016 and found I was the only girl in my Computer Science. I really want to know why there are not many girls taking subjects like Computing, Product Design, Maths, Physics, Engineering.

    I was wondering if you guys could help.
    I think it’s just a coincidence in your school
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    (Original post by DarthRoar)
    Because most girls don't want to do it. None of this 'not enough encouragement' or 'no opportunities' excuses, but because most don't want to go into computing areas. Just like how most guys don't wanna be a midwife.
    A lot of guys are in STEM just because they want a well paid job and they don't know what else they can really do. Females don't have that social stigma and do what they actually like, be it psychology, art, or philosiphy which were all extremely female dominated subjects at my sixth form. About 3/4 the people doing engineering just were doing it because it was a pretty decent sixth form so their parents expected them to get a decent job and if you can get into engineering without having to do very well in your A levels as you can just go for the more niche engineering courses or join an apprenticeship with 3 B's (contrary to a course like medicine where there's a benchmark).
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    I hadn't heard of computer science before sixth form, as I moved. My original school was all girls and more creatively based, whereas my new sixth form has a third girls and explores stem in more detail.

    I think that it depends on the courses at different universities, but I do think that more effort should be made to introduce girls to CS earlier, especially in schools with a greater number of girls in
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    A metalwork teacher once said in jest that if machine tools were painted bright pink rather than drab colours (like battleship grey) then more girls would take metalwork for O Level. The number of girls who had taken metalwork for O Level over the teacher's entire career could be counted on his fingers.

    Would pink computers with pictures of hearts and flowers on them at school attract more girls to Computer Science?
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    Most girls I saw in my school IT lessons just had 0 interest in any of that kind of stuff. :dontknow:
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    Girls don't tend to be as interested in computer science, along with maths, engineering, physics and chemistry.

    This is probably because they are "systemising" subjects, based on organization and categorisation, whereas girls tend to be more interested in "emphathizing" subjects based on people and animals.

    Check out Simon Baron-Cohen's work on these ideas. It's very plausible that these are biologically based sex differences with evolutionary origins.

    Interesting fact: in less gender equal countries like Bangladesh or India, women are much more likely to do STEM subjects and jobs compared with super equal Scandinavia. This is pretty strong evidence that it's not to do with social pressures and discrimination. Instead, in a relatively poor country girls are quite willing to do STEM because it's so important for a better future. In a wealthy country, you can have a decent life whatever you do so girls are freer to follow their natural preferences.
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    From TV/movies it's always been seen here and in most countries as a nerdy boys subject. It's a shame really that more women aren't being attracted into the profession.
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    Honestly dunno why. I'm also the only girl in my Computer Science class and there are only 2 girls(including me) in my physics class. When it comes to stem subjects most girls to either Biology or Chemistry
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    (Original post by Pangol)
    I'm sure that the knowledge that the lads doing computer science are waiting for more "cute" girls to also do it so that they have some eye candy is exactly what is needed to get more women involved in the subject.
    I concur
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    (Original post by Reece.W.J)
    I think it’s just a coincidence in your school
    No it ain't, STEM is majority male in general.
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    I'm doing Computing at uni and there's actually a fair number of girls on my course. In fact, probably half of my seminar group is female. I was actually surprised to see how many girls were doing the course.
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    (Original post by FakeNewsEditor)
    No it ain't, STEM is majority male in general.
    Hmm not at my school
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    Chemistry is about 50/50 girls and boys but almost everyone in my class also takes bio and many aren't so much interested in maths or physics. In my fm class there's like 4 girls out of 11 and they wanna study engineering, computer science, vet med and maths. Physics has like 2 girls out of 15 though lol although one of them is doing btec it. I was also in english lit class last year where there were 5 boys at the start but now there's only 1 lol.
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    (Original post by FakeNewsEditor)
    No it ain't, STEM is majority male in general.
    At a-level:
    Bio- about 50/50 maybe slight female majority
    Chemistry- again about 50/50 but maybe slight male majority
    Physics- massive male majority
    Maths- about 50/50 maybe slight male majority
    Further maths- slight male majority
    Computer science/ anything computer related- massive male majority
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    (Original post by TiggerTiger)
    What makes a subject primarily a "Boys" subject.

    This question has been playing on my mind since I started Sixth Form in 2016 and found I was the only girl in my Computer Science. I really want to know why there are not many girls taking subjects like Computing, Product Design, Maths, Physics, Engineering.

    I was wondering if you guys could help.
    In my school, CS isn't regraded as a 'boys subject' however the vast majority of students were boys.

    In CGSE computing (in my year), out of the 60 students, 3 were girls. 2 of them actually wanted to do the subject whilst the other person was forced to take it by their parents.

    In A level computing, out of the 15 CS students only one of them is a girl.
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    (Original post by DarthRoar)
    They don't want to. But why? Well, many have tried to explain it, and the best one seems to be biology. Women tend towards nurturing and creativity jobs, ones where interacting with people and helping them is involved. This could be due to ingrained maternal instincts or general behavioral patterns.
    If humans didn't take so long to grow up, we probably wouldn't even need language and all the other bits of our culture (e.g school, technology, cities and long lasting buildings). All the stuff society is made of and the influence it has on us is, in essence, a result of our biology. It's important and really interesting, so you shouldn't be so quick to dismiss!

    The argument comes down to nature vs. nurture, are women naturally more interested in certain jobs, or is everyone influenced by social expectations? Maybe it's both, but I think the latter is is too interesting and important to ignore. Let's take video games as an example, as a lot of people get into computer science because of them - do less women play video games because they don't just don't want to, or do less play because almost all the story-lines and playable characters are about men?

    I'd also argue that there are loads of men in the creative industry, or who's jobs involve interacting and helping people. Think about film directors, artists, fashion designers, doctors, and teachers. A lot of the time, stereo-typically female fields have men in the highest positions, or involve men a lot, so I don't think our biology dominates what jobs we chose that much.
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    There's loads of things that put girls off. It has a reputation that automatically makes girls think they're unsuitable.

    My biggest issue is getting girls to realise it's okay to fail as long as you don't stop trying. I get high achieving girls through who've always managed to do everything first time and that just isn't going to work with programming. They hit a brick wall and give up, which is unfortunate because they tend to make brilliant programmers when they get past that stage.

    The number of girls taking GCSE and A level compsci is increasing at a steady rate at my school. We're getting there but it isn't going to be easy to turn the reputation around.
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    (Original post by chazwomaq)
    Girls don't tend to be as interested in computer science, along with maths, engineering, physics and chemistry.

    This is probably because they are "systemising" subjects, based on organization and categorisation, whereas girls tend to be more interested in "emphathizing" subjects based on people and animals.

    Check out Simon Baron-Cohen's work on these ideas. It's very plausible that these are biologically based sex differences with evolutionary origins.
    This could be true but take into account that girls who are attracted to STEM subjects may not be tomboys in the traditional sense and vice versa.

    The systemising empathising conflict also turns in other areas of psychology like Asperger syndrome where people with the condition tend to prefer and do better in systemising subjects over empathising subjects.

    Interesting fact: in less gender equal countries like Bangladesh or India, women are much more likely to do STEM subjects and jobs compared with super equal Scandinavia. This is pretty strong evidence that it's not to do with social pressures and discrimination. Instead, in a relatively poor country girls are quite willing to do STEM because it's so important for a better future. In a wealthy country, you can have a decent life whatever you do so girls are freer to follow their natural preferences.
    In less developed countries young people are more inclined to study subjects that lead to good careers over those which don't. The concept of a liberal education, heavily ingrained into western social norms and ideals, doesn't really exist so (formal) education is viewed first and foremost from a utilarian perspective. There may also be financial incentives for students to study certain STEM subjects over other subjects, like no tuition fees, whereas this does not exist in Britain. I suspect that if there were financial benefits to studying certain STEM subjects in Britain then more girls would study them.
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    I go to an all girls school and computing is a really popular subject at GCSE. I actually know more girls than boys who are interested in computing. At least half of my class are considering cp at a level.

    STEM May be more male dominated, but that does not stop the 75% of my year wanting to have a stem career. It isn't a boys subject, it is just more popular among boys.
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    A complicated question. The most basic answer I can think of is: innate preferences compounded by generations of societal reinforcement.
 
 
 
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