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

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    (Original post by Arran90)
    That is a very good point. Are too many video games made for a masculine audience? Is there no money to be made from video games that appeal to girls?

    Similar things could be said for other products. I remember a time when a (home educated) girl wanted a BMX. She had previously ridden a friend's BMX and decided that was the type of bike she wanted, and she didn't want a mountain bike with gears or something that looked like an old ladies bike. Her parents and female friends were surprised with the choice because most BMX bikes have very masculine colours and are marketed at boys even though under the paintwork they are technically unisex.

    A strange paradox is that girls who take D&T Food Technology for GCSE outnumber boys but celebrity masterchefs are almost always men.
    Yeah, it's interesting how internationally, women enrol into tertiary education more than men, but earn less overall. (check out http://reports.weforum.org/global-ge...ort-2016/#read , if you go the 'explore country data' option you'll see the trend). Part of me thinks it's probably because a lot of women are still just starting out in their careers, but it still says a lot about society, sexism in the past, and the way it's affecting the future.

    I think with video games it turns into a cycle - girls don't see themselves represented in video games, so they don't play them and in turn won't go on to be an influence in the gaming industry so nothing changes. I also think the violence of video games has an influence, as in general the media marketed towards girls isn't as violent as it is for boys. If girls are taught that they're supposed to be more caring and empathetic, then they become those things and the violence in video games isn't as appealing.
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    (Original post by black1blade)
    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
    I didn't know we were talking about a-levels.

    I'm referring to uni. 94% of maths professors at UK unis are male. That's stupid if you think about it.
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    In an all boys grammar school the most popular A Levels in the early 2000s were:

    Mathematics (at least 60 students), Chemistry, a fight between Biology and Physics for third place, Economics, History, Geography (around 20 students). Rarely more than 15 students took any other subject. English literature usually had around 10 students in a good year. Foreign languages had around 5 students. Arts subjects and classics also had around 5 students. The school did not offer ICT for A Level although it offered it for GCSE. All students at the school took English, a foreign language, and Religious Studies for GCSE. They also had to take an arts subject, a second foreign language, or Latin. Economics was the only popular A Level that wasn't a facilitating subject and it was optional at GCSE.

    A definite bias towards 'masculine' subjects.
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    (Original post by Black Water)
    Yeah I get what you mean, it should be their own decision. You misunderstood, I haven't started Engineering in university yet. I've only started first year of A-Level. Are you currently at University?
    Ah okay, how is it going?

    Yep
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    (Original post by Nirvana1989-1994)
    Ah okay, how is it going?

    Yep
    It's ok so far, but there is going to be so much work to do.

    How's university? What are you studying?
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    (Original post by Black Water)
    It's ok so far, but there is going to be so much work to do.

    How's university? What are you studying?
    Good, and I'm sure you'll get through it.

    English & History-I eventually want to get into teaching in a secondary school.

    Uni's really fun, but I hate living with people.
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    (Original post by Nirvana1989-1994)
    Good, and I'm sure you'll get through it.

    English & History-I eventually want to get into teaching in a secondary school.

    Uni's really fun, but I hate living with people.
    Thanks. That's a tough course, but a good career choice that you have. So would I, I'd rather live alone.
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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'm a girl taking Computer Science too:cute:. I never really took any noticed but now that you have pointed it out it is kind of strange how there is only 4 out of 20 girls in my class... Maybe its like the video game stereotype.
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    (Original post by Black Water)
    Thanks. That's a tough course, but a good career choice that you have. So would I, I'd rather live alone.
    It's not too bad, but there's so much to read, and I have to work part-time which is 'meh'.

    Thanks.

    The only redeeming factor is that it's ensuite.
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      I would have picked it but I wanted to pick a subject that contains mostly practical elements.so yeah ended up picking something else.I was one of the best at CS when we were all did it together.
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      (Original post by Nirvana1989-1994)
      It's not too bad, but there's so much to read, and I have to work part-time which is 'meh'.

      Thanks.

      The only redeeming factor is that it's ensuite.
      Oh, hopefully it's not too much for you though.
      At least you have one good thing lol.
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      There were no girls at my college who took Electronics to A2. There was something like 5 boys to 1 girl who took Computing to A2.

      When I enquired about the male domination of these subjects the reply was that girls gravitate towards arts and humanities and essay type subjects at A Level. They turn their nose up at STEM subjects. There is the argument that girls don't like getting their hands dirty but the number studying Chemistry at A Level is higher both nationally and in most colleges than the number studying Computer Science or Electronics which are 'cleaner' subjects.
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      (Original post by Arran90)
      There were no girls at my college who took Electronics to A2. There was something like 5 boys to 1 girl who took Computing to A2.

      When I enquired about the male domination of these subjects the reply was that girls gravitate towards arts and humanities and essay type subjects at A Level. They turn their nose up at STEM subjects. There is the argument that girls don't like getting their hands dirty but the number studying Chemistry at A Level is higher both nationally and in most colleges than the number studying Computer Science or Electronics which are 'cleaner' subjects.
      There is some truth to your post.

      Girls hate getting their hands dirty - true. I've seen girls refuse to touch a computer in a class where we're required to open it up and and replace the parts. They don't like doing practicals or writing up an experiment with a discussion of what worked / what didn't.

      Girls turn their nose up at STEM - I haven't seen this. I think they're scared of getting stuff wrong so they avoid topics like maths where there is a definite right/wrong answer preferring humanities where answers can be more vague/open to individual interpretation.

      Girls care about what their friends think - if their friends think doing maths is geeky and don't approve of it, then they're are more likely to drop it. That's even if they're actually quite good at it. I study it because I like it - nothing to do with what my mates think. And they wouldn't tell me I'm making a bad choice. Girls are more conformist - they wear the same clothes, like the same stuff, go for the same trends, and would change to meet their friends' approval.

      There's also strong social disapproval of girls 'acting' like boys in the West which is strong influence on girls avoiding 'male' subjects.

      Discrimination - should a girl go for 'male' subjects and career paths, they face huge discrimination for the rest of their working lives. They get paid much less than their male colleagues, denied promotion and more likely to lose their job in a company reorganisation or if they get pregnant. I think this is the biggest barrier for girls entering and staying in STEM related study/careers.

      There are only 2 females on my uni course - 1 mature student, and one from India (where more girls do STEM anyway). The rest are all guys.
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      (Original post by ThePricklyOne)
      Girls hate getting their hands dirty - true. I've seen girls refuse to touch a computer in a class where we're required to open it up and and replace the parts. They don't like doing practicals or writing up an experiment with a discussion of what worked / what didn't.
      The most popular STEM A Level for girls is biology with involves having to handle tissue from dead animals and potentially pathogenic material.

      I think they're scared of getting stuff wrong so they avoid topics like maths where there is a definite right/wrong answer preferring humanities where answers can be more vague/open to individual interpretation.
      My experience is that girls want to be right all the time and are determined to be right all the time.

      Girls care about what their friends think - if their friends think doing maths is geeky and don't approve of it, then they're are more likely to drop it. That's even if they're actually quite good at it. I study it because I like it - nothing to do with what my mates think. And they wouldn't tell me I'm making a bad choice. Girls are more conformist - they wear the same clothes, like the same stuff, go for the same trends, and would change to meet their friends' approval.
      I agree with this one. Girls tend to be more image conscious than boys and prefer to please their friends, family, and neighbours rather than doing what is in their best interests. It extends into adulthood where middle aged women worry more about what will the neighbours think about xyz more so than middle aged men.

      There's also strong social disapproval of girls 'acting' like boys in the West which is strong influence on girls avoiding 'male' subjects.
      As I previously stated, there is a big difference between girls who are attracted to STEM subjects and girls who are tomboys in the traditional sense. It's as large a divide as between boys who are football mad but hate STEM subjects and boys who love STEM subjects but hate football.
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      (Original post by TiggerTiger)
      My school is in exactly the same boat. My teacher asked me to help with his coding club. It was open for just girls for like one term and went on for an hour after school. Unfortunately only two girls were turning up and it was the same girls every week. My teacher said that it clearly wasn't working and the next term opened it up for the boys. Within the first week of this happening we had about 8 boys in the club and there was now only one girl.
      I remeber being asked by this year 9 boy about why I was in the club helping out if it was open for boys. I told him it wasn't but his response was "look around you, there is mostly only boys in here even the teacher is a boy. Girls can't code". I told him to stop being so sexist and just walked away. The next week both of the girls had stopped coming and my teacher felt really guilty because he thought that the boys must of put the girls off. He never ran this coding club again.
      To the person who just said "girls aren't interested in it nothing sexist going on here" - yes there is something going on here. As a society there's a problem with women going into tech subjects and the tech industry is pretty misogynistic to a large extent. And also conversely the same problem lies with men going into female dominated fields such as teaching or nursing - i.e. they're not manly things to do or whatever. Even if you think this kind of thing isn't obvious, as in no-one has ever directly told you anything of the sort, this environment is still there and there are clear effects of it on society. Thankfully we have awareness now and it's starting to change.
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      I am 22 years old and I have been working in IT/Computing since the age of 18(I worked as an apprentice for 12 months and started working full time and studying for my degree part time every saturdays). So far I would say the computing/IT courses do not entice girls or make it exciting for girls to want to venture into. From a young age I have always loved computing and its not even because I am surrounded by guys(I am rarely surrounded by guys). Its just a fun subject I love.

      I wanted to combine Accounting with Computing/IT but at the time (around 2011-2013), I didnt know what job was out there for that sort of thing apart from Accounting Information Systems which was really boring and after working for KPMG for like 2 weeks(and falling asleep on the first day) even the manager told me that accounting is not for me but computing is as I seemed to love fixing the IT issues that people were having so I decided to do an apprenticeship after my A levels and I do not regret it.

      When I went for college classes during my apprenticeship i was always the only girl or there was this other called (Gabby) and she was pretty smart. But most of time its either her or me with about 15 boys in the room. At first I felt intimidated by these boys but my teacher I remember his name, Tony made the classes and lessons exciting he even used to crack jokes 99% of the time which is what made me continue to stay in the IT/Computing Industry.

      I was on the verge of quitting my apprenticeship and just going straight to uni but Tony made it really exciting and also my apprenticeship workplace was a medical company called International SOS and I was the youngest there in all departments and in the IT department I was the only female engineer but the IT manager was a lady, my other IT colleagues never made me feel inferior in any way. My apprenticeship year was the best year of my IT career!! I then finished my apprenticeship and went to work for an MSP(Managerial Service Provider) and it was the bomb Yooo!! I was the like the second female IT engineer there and all the guys were all in their early to mid 20's and they made it so cool. They never ever made me feel inferior.

      Now I am at a different MSP company and there are about 6 female engineers(including me) and the guys there do not make me feel inferior at all and I am loving the advantage and experience I have gained in my 4 years as an IT Engineer.Sorry for the long reply but I cannot see myself doing anything else but I hope to one day open up my own computing business not in the UK (as the tax system is ****) but probably in Nigeria!! That is my goal!!

      So to answer your question, i think its the fact that computing/IT subjects are never that exciting when being taught and also because some of the guys intimidate you sometimes but I am never fazed by it, my motto is I DONT HV TIME FOR BS!! So if any guy wants to intimidate me, I smile and just tell him I know what I am doing, if I didnt I wouldnt be hereDo not be discouraged IT/COmputing is a fun subject and I am glad I ventured into this industry and I wouldnt change it for anything.
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      (Original post by ThePricklyOne)
      There is some truth to your post.

      Girls hate getting their hands dirty - true. I've seen girls refuse to touch a computer in a class where we're required to open it up and and replace the parts. They don't like doing practicals or writing up an experiment with a discussion of what worked / what didn't.

      Girls turn their nose up at STEM - I haven't seen this. I think they're scared of getting stuff wrong so they avoid topics like maths where there is a definite right/wrong answer preferring humanities where answers can be more vague/open to individual interpretation.

      Girls care about what their friends think - if their friends think doing maths is geeky and don't approve of it, then they're are more likely to drop it. That's even if they're actually quite good at it. I study it because I like it - nothing to do with what my mates think. And they wouldn't tell me I'm making a bad choice. Girls are more conformist - they wear the same clothes, like the same stuff, go for the same trends, and would change to meet their friends' approval.

      There's also strong social disapproval of girls 'acting' like boys in the West which is strong influence on girls avoiding 'male' subjects.

      Discrimination - should a girl go for 'male' subjects and career paths, they face huge discrimination for the rest of their working lives. They get paid much less than their male colleagues, denied promotion and more likely to lose their job in a company reorganisation or if they get pregnant. I think this is the biggest barrier for girls entering and staying in STEM related study/careers.

      There are only 2 females on my uni course - 1 mature student, and one from India (where more girls do STEM anyway). The rest are all guys.
      Yes most of what you said here is correct. If I had told my friends at the time that I wanted to venture into IT they would have looked at me weirdly. Do you know what is funny is that I failed my A levels I think I got DEE(D in citizenship, E in accounting and E in Information Technology) and do you know that I have been working in IT for the past 4 years as an engineer? You see how life is? If you had told me that I would be working in IT, I would have told you never but Life has different plans for you. I enjoy IT/Computing(I hate programming, but I like HTML/CSS/PYthon) not Java and the rest. I have always loved IT/Computing but hated studying as the subject were not that exciting or maybe the person teaching them were not good at making it fun to learn and understand.

      I am surprised myself. Sometimes I look back at how life was back then and I guess I was depressed and maybe that may have been why I failed. I used to get A's in my mocks but failed the actual exams so it's surprising. I also graduated this year at my uni with Bachelors in Computing and Information Systems.

      You are also correct about the pay gap in IT is HUGE!! In the past 4 years, I had to beg for a bloody pay rise even if I was working for like 2 years or a year and the half, they found it hard to give pay rises or give you the correct pay. Even though my colleagues have never made me feel inferior, the senior management or the people of authority at the company will find an excuse not to increase your pay and I am also worried about what will happen when I do decide to start a family and then come back into IT I am scared that I will be discriminated or given less pay than a guy who is also doing the same job as me.
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      (Original post by uponthyhorse)
      To the person who just said "girls aren't interested in it nothing sexist going on here" - yes there is something going on here. As a society there's a problem with women going into tech subjects and the tech industry is pretty misogynistic to a large extent. And also conversely the same problem lies with men going into female dominated fields such as teaching or nursing - i.e. they're not manly things to do or whatever. Even if you think this kind of thing isn't obvious, as in no-one has ever directly told you anything of the sort, this environment is still there and there are clear effects of it on society. Thankfully we have awareness now and it's starting to change.
      The engineering and software industries are misogynistic to a considerable extent. Even the engineering departments in hospitals and TV companies, which are organisations that employ a high proportion of women, are heavily male dominated.

      It's notable that over the past few decades much effort has been exerted to reduce gender inequality in the workplace but at the same time toys have become far more gender specific.

      http://lettoysbetoys.org.uk/
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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.
      This thread asked about similar issues. I responded regarding the University of Bradford's 50:50 campaign which tackles gender gap issues within the sector. 50:50 is lead by two of our amazing Computer Science academics (who both are female).

      I'm reading this thread with interest - especially when people are talking about if the toys we were given when growing up influenced our choices. I know my obsession with Transformers in the 1980s was seen as a bit bizarre, I went onto study chemistry not mechanics though
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      (Original post by University of Bradford International)
      This thread asked about similar issues. I responded regarding the University of Bradford's 50:50 campaign which tackles gender gap issues within the sector. 50:50 is lead by two of our amazing Computer Science academics (who both are female).

      I'm reading this thread with interest - especially when people are talking about if the toys we were given when growing up influenced our choices. I know my obsession with Transformers in the 1980s was seen as a bit bizarre, I went onto study chemistry not mechanics though
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