Getting women to use computers

Daniel Zabetakis dan at cubmol.bio.columbia.edu
Mon Dec 7 11:49:50 EST 1992


In article <9212041542.AA11807 at teosinte.agron.missouri.edu.agron.missouri.edu> maryp at TEOSINTE.AGRON.MISSOURI.EDU (Mary Polacco) writes:
>The orginal memo seemed like a red flag to provoke - no data, just a gut
>feeling.

   To provoke discussion, sure. Of course, there isn't much reliable data
about computer use. Usenet is well known to be male dominated. Even groups
dealing specifically with women issues and feminism are often domintaed by
men.
   The issue is how to get women more involved. It is my observation that
the people who use computers in this department are usually men. Our
department has a large number of women (I don't know the percentage, but it
is around 50%, I'm sure).

   Several of the e-mail responces I got denied my observation ("I know
plenty of women who..."). Some denied my other statment that biologists
have a computer phobia.
   I have to point out one thing, and that is that the audience of this
group is solely those who have developed computer skills. Hardly and
unbiased view.
   I still think that both biologist and women have an aversion to computers.
Mind you, I'm not saying anything about aptitude, or that anything is 
anyone's fault.
   Many people hve expressed to me the thought that biologists are math-
and computer-phobic. I know some people who would rather have dental work 
than have to sit at a keyboard.
   If women have no aversion to computers, then we would have to account
for thier underrepresentation on usenet. I think it clear that women are
found in reduced numbers because they are not well represented in the 
field that usually have access to usenet (math, science, physics, engineering,
computer science, to varying degrees.).

>[...]was that simply
>a request for female companionship via computer?

   Phaa, ha ha.

DanZ

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