women and computing

Catherine Collin cati at cogsci.ed.ac.uk
Wed Mar 27 08:42:24 EST 1996

With regards to the original statement by Mr. Chan:

"You are right on all account and  I am afraid there arent anything we
can do about it. When it comes down to dedication, logical thinking
and scientific research we dont find many women who is versatile in
this field."

This is an entirely unsubstantiated claim. "Unsubstantiated claim"
being the most polite phrase i could muster. Perhaps you would care
to provide evidence. Or retract?

With regards to the original question:

"What are the reasons for there being so few women in computer

I think it has nothing to do with men/women being more/less visual or
whatever (the stuff of urban legend, surely). But is to do with
hearing statements like Mr. Chan's above, at an impressionable age.

The interesting question is why such statements are made. Perhaps
"Mr. Chan's" have a greater neural capacity for self-aggrandizement?

I would be quite interested in a discussion on cognitive styles,
however, specifically logic/programming/hyperproof? I appreciate that
there is a significant body of literature on differences in cognitive
styles, but suspect that there are greater differences intra- than
inter-gender. I also admit that my thoughts on the subject are
prejudiced by recollection of a comment when i was in school to the
effect that "women have poorer spatial abilities than men, and that's
why they can't park cars."


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