Gender Codes: Why Women Are Leaving Computing by Thomas J. Misa

By Thomas J. Misa

The computing career faces a significant gender quandary. at the present time, fewer girls input computing than each time long ago 25 years. This booklet presents an remarkable examine the heritage of ladies and males in computing, detailing how the computing occupation emerged and matured, and the way the sector grew to become male coded. Women's stories operating in places of work, schooling, libraries, programming, and executive are tested for clues on how and the place girls succeeded—and the place they struggled. It additionally offers a distinct overseas measurement with reviews interpreting the united states, nice Britain, Germany, Norway, and Greece. students in heritage, gender/women's reports, and technological know-how and know-how stories, in addition to division chairs and hiring administrators will locate this quantity illuminating.

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The earliest computer games, such as Spacewar and Space Travel, did not themselves feature explicitly gendered content: spaceships and photon torpedoes were the screen images. While the 12 CHAPTER 1 GENDER CODES: DEFINING THE PROBLEM avatar-paddle for the Atari videogame Pong (1972) was also without explicit gender, Ms. PacMan (1980–1981) was the first to feature a gender-specific avatar. In the 1980s damsels-in-distress figured in the video games Donkey Kong and Dragon’s Lair and in countless games since [22].

Com/index/tag/game_industry. 25. html. 26. , Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat: New Perspectives on Gender and Gaming (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2008). com/article. t=futureofgames (accessed August 2009). 27. Lawrence J. Mazlack, “Identifying Potential to Acquire Programming Skill,” Communications of the ACM, Vol. 23, No. 1 (January 1980): 14–17. 28. toolbox. com/blogs/tricks-of-the-trade/monthly/9/ 2004 (entry posted 13 September 2004). 29. Jane Margolis and Allan Fisher, in Unlocking the Clubhouse: Women in Computing (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2002), p.

CHANGING REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN IN COMPUTER SCIENCE 29 ■ 1984: The proportion of women earning CS bachelor degrees peaked; women were earning 37% of all CS bachelor degrees (12,066 out of a total 32,435). ■ 2006: After the turning point in 1984, the proportion of women earning CS bachelor degrees fell over a period of 22 years to only 20% (14,406 out of 57,405). A recent Taulbee survey of North American computer science departments shows this downward trend has continued into 2007 [19]. On a positive note, the HERI/USC freshmen survey, in which freshmen are asked to state their intended major, suggests that this decline may level out over the next few years, but it is not yet clear at what level [20].

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