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

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    (Original post by the beer)
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    (Original post by University of Bradford International)
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    (Original post by the beer)
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    I'm a TSR University Representative, I represent the University of Bradford (info in my profile, my signature has my details). I offer advice to students where I feel I can help, like linking to a previous thread relating to this subject

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    (Original post by University of Bradford International)
    I'm a TSR University Representative, I represent the University of Bradford (info in my profile, my signature has my details). I offer advice to students where I feel I can help, like linking to a previous thread relating to this subject

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    (Original post by TiggerTiger)
    What makes a subject primarily a "Boys" subject.
    Public perception of the male:female ratio of people doing it.

    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.
    Do what you enjoy. In my career, I've never seen anything that should put women off Computing (but I'm male).

    I was wondering if you guys could help.
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    (Original post by TiggerTiger)
    But why. Computers and technologies (E.g: Mobile Phone - Games you play on it are programmed) are used everyday even when you might not think it. They say that girls are the one to use their phones the most. If this is true why don't girls want to know what makes the little item in their hands work and makes the world so boring without it. If they are so engrossed with playing with their phone why they don't they want to make an operating system or game for it using programming. Why don't girls play on games consoles if they are always on their phone. I know this is a hard discussion but I really want to find out why I'm the only girl in my computing class and computing is the only subject at my Sixth Form which doesn't have a kind of equal gender divide.
    There’s a difference between liking a product that is a result of computer science and actually being interested in computer science.
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    (Original post by the beer)
    Is that a yes? Isn't clear to me.
    Sorry for slow reply, I was in the gym - us walking adverts have to work on it

    No I wouldn’t say I am an advert, however you could see my post as one.
    I thought the previous thread I linked to, and the 50:50 campaign were relevant to this thread.
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    (Original post by University of Bradford International)
    Sorry for slow reply, I was in the gym - us walking adverts have to work on it

    No I wouldn’t say I am an advert, however you could see my post as one.
    I thought the previous thread I linked to, and the 50:50 campaign were relevant to this thread.
    They are. Please carry on

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    I think it ends up being a bit of a cycle really; the subject is dominated by males, which puts some women off joining, meaning it continues to be at least as dominated by men putting more off, and so on. We need to figure out a way to break the cycle if the ratio is going to change at all.
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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.
    It’s just because boys tend to be interested in it or good at it, more so than girls.
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    The tech industry has been a sausage fest since... well, forever. It's going to take a long time before it's seen as anything other than a boy's subject.

    Regardless, it's been open to girls for decades, but few seem interested. Nothing stopped women from essentially taking over psychology and veterinary science, however, which were previously male dominated. I think girls just generally aren't into it, possibly due to a mix of psychological, biological and cultural reasons.
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    The very excellent Planet Money podcast covered this question back in 2014. wasn't a male preserve in the early days - take a look at the early days of military computers, and there were high levels of women involved, from the theoretical maths behind the algebra to the day to day programming - but then it changed. Part of that was undoubtedly the whole postwar thing of trying to get women back out of the workplace so the government could claim high employment levels for men, but apparently you can lay a lot of the blame at the door of toy companies, who wanted to sell computers as toys and had pretty much no concept of marketing a toy to both sexes at the time. So, they aimed them at boys and the rest is pretty much history. It became culturally embedded and that's hard to shake.
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    It isn't.
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    (Original post by florabritannica)
    The very excellent Planet Money podcast covered this question back in 2014. wasn't a male preserve in the early days - take a look at the early days of military computers, and there were high levels of women involved, from the theoretical maths behind the algebra to the day to day programming - but then it changed. Part of that was undoubtedly the whole postwar thing of trying to get women back out of the workplace so the government could claim high employment levels for men, but apparently you can lay a lot of the blame at the door of toy companies, who wanted to sell computers as toys and had pretty much no concept of marketing a toy to both sexes at the time. So, they aimed them at boys and the rest is pretty much history. It became culturally embedded and that's hard to shake.
    In the post war years computers branched off into two avenues:

    1. Scientific and mathematical applications. Created FORTRAN.

    2. Business data processing. Created COBOL.

    There was a third avenue of industrial control but this grew out of the industrial and manufacturing engineering rather the computing communities because they did not understand the applications that computers would be used for.

    In the 1970s CAD / CAM emerged out of the aircraft and automotive industries and office applications were created although they did not become mainstream until the 1980s.

    It was probably safe to say that in the 1980s more women used computers in the workplace than men did in Britain and the US although industrial control and CAD / CAM were male dominated sectors due to historical reasons.

    It's questionable whether or not the home computer industry aimed at boys in the 1980s. All of the popular home computers in Britain were sold by computer or electronics companies rather than toy companies. Remember that the home computer industry was influenced heavily by the arcade game machine industry because home computers were first and foremost sold as gaming machines rather than serious machines. It was quite strange for a kid in the 1980s to run a word processor or a spreadsheet or even a graphics and drawing package on a computer at home but it was normal for a kid in the 1990s. Most home computers of the 1980s were awkward toys rather than usable tools for serious applications because they were designed and built to a cost rather than for functionality or utility. Computers only became popular for serious applications at home in the early 1990s when Windows 3 came out. They were PCs in beige boxes that were designed for use in offices. I think the connections between programming BASIC on a home computer in the 1980s and Computer Science in schools today, or even programming and HTML coding this side of the Millennium, are tenuous at their best.

    Many children in the 1980s were introduced to computers at primary school rather than at home. Were the computers and software back then too masculine in design?
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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.
    This is nonsense. Firstly, there are male midwives. Secondly, there are plenty of women interested in computer science. One of my female friends teaches the subject and is on the bleeding edge of research with it. I am self taught in the subject, and I know loads of women with an interest and at least basic skills in it. Girls have been discouraged from using computers in more than a superficial way for a long time, So it's less a case of "not enough encoragment" and more about active discoragment. If you don't believe me look at how girls are treated in online games and some technical forums.
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    (Original post by Dandaman1)
    The tech industry has been a sausage fest since... well, forever. It's going to take a long time before it's seen as anything other than a boy's subject.

    Regardless, it's been open to girls for decades, but few seem interested. Nothing stopped women from essentially taking over psychology and veterinary science, however, which were previously male dominated. I think girls just generally aren't into it, possibly due to a mix of psychological, biological and cultural reasons.
    Interestingly women made up as much as around 37 of computer science in 1984, so there was a less dominant gender at that time. It also suggests that it's not a lack of interest on the side of women that is causing the current sausage fest in computing, but some other factor, or factors, are compounding it.
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    I don’t take any of them subjects mainly because I didn’t realise the job opportunities. Although it’s mostly girls in my year that are taking maths and physics from my school.

    I really do regret not picking physics and maths because they open more doors then they close. Instead I went with what the majority of girls do which is biology, chemistry and psychology. Although it’s too late for me to change my a levels now.
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    I'm currently in a lecture and I could count 10 girls (rounding up for my lack of sight behind and today is the day nobody wants to turn up to). Whilst I was encouraged by the fact they exist, I'm sure we can still get a bit more equal
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    (Original post by shadowdweller)
    Interestingly women made up as much as around 37 of computer science in 1984, so there was a less dominant gender at that time. It also suggests that it's not a lack of interest on the side of women that is causing the current sausage fest in computing, but some other factor, or factors, are compounding it.
    My mother told me that there were quite a few girls studying the old Computing A Level back in the 1980s. Physics was more male dominated than it is today.
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    (Original post by Beckit)
    This is nonsense. Firstly, there are male midwives. Secondly, there are plenty of women interested in computer science. One of my female friends teaches the subject and is on the bleeding edge of research with it. I am self taught in the subject, and I know loads of women with an interest and at least basic skills in it. Girls have been discouraged from using computers in more than a superficial way for a long time, So it's less a case of "not enough encoragment" and more about active discoragment. If you don't believe me look at how girls are treated in online games and some technical forums.
    Of course there are male midwives, but nowhere near as many as female ones, because most men just don't want to be one. Aye, there are plenty of women interested in computer science, but not as many as men because they just aren't as interested in general.

    Basically you're just saying you know some people who don't fit the trend, but it doesn't disprove it.

    Girls being discouraged? Literally every computer science institution or department has been scrambling to find girls who want their subject for the last 10 years. Stop with this 'ooh discouragement is why' BS .
 
 
 
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