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

Beckit
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#101
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(Original post by DarthRoar)
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 .
In the past 10 years higher education institutions may have been encouraging it, but for girls who have spent the previous 18 years of their lives being treated as incompetent when it comes to computers, the discoragment is already there. I have been told in the past I don't know as much about computers because I am a girl, despite the fact I have been building and programming them since I was 5 years old. Universities may encourage girls but society sure as hell doesn't!
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Crazysue1
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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.
I own a few websites with one in particular being a very successful one.

I built the sites, I run them on a day to day basis, make all the decisions etc and have done for the last 12 years. However, the subject matter of the most popular site is of a male dominated sport.

I get on a daily basis people (all male) refusing to deal with me and wanting to speak to my boss as they can't quite get their head around the fact that a female is behind it all, they truly believe I am the boss only in name and that a man is behind the scenes doing all the site stuff.

I've been called all sorts of derogatory things over the last 12 years. If I ban someone, it must be because I am hormonal. If I pull them up over bad language, it's because I am sensitive yet my male team members don't receive those sorts of comments if they do the same.

The most surprising thing is the age group of those who find it difficult to accept it is owned and run by a woman. I thought I would have more resistance from the older male group (50+) as it is more in line with the way the world worked when they were growing up but it's actually the younger ones, the 15-25 age group.

Re school, we were pushed into needlework (hated, hated, hated it) and cookery and the boys did metalwork and woodwork...girls were not allowed. We celebrated when they finally allowed us to do technical drawing but it would take another few years (and after I left) before girls were allowed to do metal/wood work. We were all treated the same for computing, physics, chemistry and biology and we had an even number of males and females doing those courses.
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Doonesbury
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(Original post by DarthRoar)
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 .
It needs more than just the institutions to encourage it:

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Arran90
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The US bachelor figures peak in the mid 1980s then are roughly constant from 1990 to 2000 but slump sharply at the time of the dotcom crash before settling around 2007ish.

Do you think that the dotcom crash has any bearing on the matter? There were also huge layoffs in software and IT in 2000 and 2001 following the Millennium bug fix of the late 1990s after it was found out that the world hadn't come to an end on 01/03/2000.
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Doonesbury
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(Original post by Arran90)
The US bachelor figures peak in the mid 1980s then are roughly constant from 1990 to 2000 but slump sharply at the time of the dotcom crash before settling around 2007ish.

Do you think that the dotcom crash has any bearing on the matter? There were also huge layoffs in software and IT in 2000 and 2001 following the Millennium bug fix of the late 1990s after it was found out that the world hadn't come to an end on 01/03/2000.
Evidence?

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Arran90
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
Evidence?
The graph in post #104.
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Doonesbury
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(Original post by Arran90)
The graph in post #104.
No. I posted the chart, I'm asking you for evidence for the reason you gave regarding layoffs due to the millennium bug.
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Harold Saxon
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The answer is that it isn't, a lot of young girls just aren't interested. Although half of my old cs class was female
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Arran90
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
No. I posted the chart, I'm asking you for evidence for the reason you gave regarding layoffs due to the millennium bug.
There was a hive of activity in the late 1990s to ensure that software used in critical systems was Y2K compliant. After 01/03/2000 large numbers of programmers were made redundant as the Y2K compliancy project was now complete. A significant proportion of them were COBOL programmers who worked on software used by banks and insurance companies, that in some cases had been running since the 1960s, but programmers specialising on other languages weren't immune to layoffs. This saturated the programming job market. Shortly afterwards came the dotcom crash which shattered confidence in the IT and software industry from an investors point of view. The damaged confidence also spread to other industry sectors such as electronics hardware and aerospace because the media and financial community often couldn't differentiate between them and worthless websites as both were interchangeably referred to as tech companies. As investment dried up a recession took place in the programming and software development community starting in 2001. The result of this was a falloff in applications for computer science degrees.
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Doonesbury
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(Original post by Arran90)
There was a hive of activity in the late 1990s to ensure that software used in critical systems was Y2K compliant. After 01/03/2000 large numbers of programmers were made redundant as the Y2K compliancy project was now complete. A significant proportion of them were COBOL programmers who worked on software used by banks and insurance companies, that in some cases had been running since the 1960s, but programmers specialising on other languages weren't immune to layoffs. This saturated the programming job market. Shortly afterwards came the dotcom crash which shattered confidence in the IT and software industry from an investors point of view. The damaged confidence also spread to other industry sectors such as electronics hardware and aerospace because the media and financial community often couldn't differentiate between them and worthless websites as both were interchangeably referred to as tech companies. As investment dried up a recession took place in the programming and software development community starting in 2001. The result of this was a falloff in applications for computer science degrees.
The dotcom crash (and possibly the short US recession - there was no UK recession in 2000/01) may be factors, not Y2K.
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Arran90
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
The dotcom crash (and possibly the short US recession - there was no UK recession in 2000/01) may be factors, not Y2K.
There was a recession in the programming and software development industries in the US and most of western Europe in 2001 even if there wasn't a recession in general. There were lots of layoffs in 2000 once the Y2K compliancy project was completed. A high proportion of programmers which were hired in the late 1990s to fix noncompliant software were employed on a contract basis.
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Rohit_Rocks10
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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.
Lemme tell u something. My friend is the only student in our entire sixth form to do computer science at A-Level. And the fact that our school is the only school in the entire country to offer computer science at A-Level, this implies that he's the only student in the entire country to do computer science
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kekophobia
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Either way its a good time to be a girl in STEM at the moment as companies are bending over backwards to employ females so if you get decent grades your 90% guaranteed a good job at the end of it.
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FloralHybrid
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(Original post by Pangol)
It really shouldn't be, but society's expectations are a big factor. It's also the case that, while many teachers are excellent and very supportive, there are others who don't take girl's ambitions in this area seriously.

It doesn't have to be this way, though. I'm delighted to say that the first and second year A level maths classes that I teach this year are both more than 50% girls (this is a small sixth form attached to a standard state school).
Mine too! Our A-Level maths class was 14 girls and 9 boys ☺️☺️☺️
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Arran90
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I'm wondering if there's any way the Computer Science curriculum could be changed to make the subject more interesting to girls (and possibly boys that are not currently attracted to it) or whether there are two many psychological barriers to overcome. I remember attempts to make physics more attractive to girls by including topics like medical applications and biophysics and certain other real world applications.

Take into account that programming is a creative as well as an academic subject so it could be utilised to attract kids who are more into art and music rather than mathematics and science.
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LoukaGreen
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(Original post by Arran90)
I'm wondering if there's any way the Computer Science curriculum could be changed to make the subject more interesting to girls (and possibly boys that are not currently attracted to it) or whether there are two many psychological barriers to overcome. I remember attempts to make physics more attractive to girls by including topics like medical applications and biophysics and certain other real world applications.

Take into account that programming is a creative as well as an academic subject so it could be utilised to attract kids who are more into art and music rather than mathematics and science.
Technically, Computer Science is an art already because to be a programmer you need to think about what hasn't been done yet. What will help the world and then the programmer needs to design it (What will the GUI look like, How user friendly is the programme going to be.). It needs to be creative so that people will use it.

If you are doing Computer Science at A-level then in the second year you have to do a programming project. You get marks for how creative the programme is and well the GUI looks and programme overall (As well as good documentation and functional coding) . You need to design a programme that has never been done before or if it has then you need to be creative with the design and code to say how it differs from the other similar programmes that exist.
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username3012438
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I don't think its because its a logical subject per se. If that was the case you wouldn't have a 50/50 split of guys and girls in Maths. I think its because of the nature of programming, you sit infront of a computer screen writing code all day with very little interaction.
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Doonesbury
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(Original post by ayyy2)
If that was the case you wouldn't have a 50/50 split of guys and girls in Maths.
There isn't. It's about 1 : 1.5 in Maths. And much worse in Physics.
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username3012438
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
There isn't. It's about 1 : 1.5 in Maths. And much worse in Physics.
Well 1:1.5 is closer to 1:1 than 1:10. Why is the ratio more balanced in maths and chemistry than in cs? its not because cs is a logical subject.
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ByEeek
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(Original post by Harold Saxon)
The answer is that it isn't, a lot of young girls just aren't interested. Although half of my old cs class was female
It is so much more than that. One has to ask the question, "Why aren't girls interested?" There was an interesting program about the boy / girl divide in primary schools a few months back. At the age of 7, a class of girls and boys were asked the question, "Who is better, girls or boys?" Everyone in the class bar one girl said that boys were better. Now this is the outcome of girls perception of themselves aged 7 despite the fact that physical and mental equivalents, 7 year-old children are equal across gender.

The problem is not with girls. It is with society. Girls are dressed in pink, told they are pretty and are princesses. They are not given opportunities to play with spacial awareness or problem solving toys. By contrast boys have it all. The only downside for boys is that they are not allowed to show their emotions. Boys don't cry.

It is all rather sad and pathetic when you look at it.
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