Getting women to use computers

Sheila Gay Buzzee buzz at wccf.mit.edu
Tue Dec 8 17:12:00 EST 1992


In article <ByyHu5.ExK at usenet.ucs.indiana.edu>, duncan at loris.cisab.indiana.edu (Shan Duncan) writes...
>Daniel Zabetakis (dan at cubmol.bio.columbia.edu) wrote:

 (Stuff deleted)

>:    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.
> 
>        Repeat after me:  Computers are a tool. 

  Good response.  I am a BS biologist, in the process of getting my PhD in 
Environmental Engineering and Toxicology.  All the women and biologists I know 
use computers daily.  They use them for work, recreation, and communication.  
The only aversion anyone has to computers comes from spending hours and hours 
staring at them when we would rather be outside!

>:    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.).

  I am currently participating in a research project (unrelated to my work) 
which is attempting to determine which factors influence women in thier 
decision to enter scientific fields of study.  It appears that the biggest 
problem is that women have not been supported at early ages and that the 
family of origin and early school years play a big part.  So, if you want to 
see more women in science, encourage the young girls you know to pursue it.  
Personally, my father (a biochemist) told me from day 1 that I could grow up 
and be a scientist, just like him.  I never heard "You can't do that" from 
anybody that mattered to me.  And here I am!

  Sheila Buzzee
  buzz at wccf.mit.edu



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