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posted by janrinok on Saturday June 07 2014, @05:58PM   Printer-friendly
from the food-for-thought dept.

A huge nationwide push is underway, funded by the nonprofit's corporate and billionaire donors, from Amazon and Google to Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, to introduce American schoolchildren to coding and to redefine it as a basic skill to be learned alongside the three R's.'s curriculum has been adopted by 20,000 teachers from kindergarten to 12th grade. But if coding is the new lingua franca, literacy rates for girls are dropping: Last year, girls made up 18.5 percent of A.P. computer science test-takers nationwide, a slight decrease from the year before. In three states, no girls took the test at all. An abysmal 0.4 percent of girls entering college intend to major in computer science [PDF]. And in 2013, women made up 14 percent of all computer science graduates down from 36 percent in 1984. The imbalance persists in the tech industry. Just this week, Google released data showing that women account for just 17 percent of its tech employees.

The problem is not only getting girls to computer class, but keeping them there.

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  • (Score: 2) by bradley13 on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:15PM

    by bradley13 (3053) on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:15PM (#52722) Homepage Journal

    Boy's and girl's brains are functionally identical... There is no such thing as "boys interests" or "girls interests"

    That's certainly the PC line. Unfortunately for you, it's not true. Both men and women have a very broad spectrum of possible development, with lots of overlap. However, on average, there are differences. Give a small boy a set of dolls - on average, he's more likely to see if their heads come off, rather than to have a tea party with them.

    Please google "brain development gender" (three words, not a single phrase), and start browsing. Boys and girls do, in fact, develop differently; the brain is part of the person and subject to the same hormonal and genetic difference as the rest of the body. It would be rather amazing if boys and girls didn't have difference in (average) brain development.

    Men and women don't have different interests, people have different interests. Ability is up to the individual, not the gender.

    Here, we can agree. If gender differences lead to different tendencies - more men in some professions, more women in others - why should this be a problem? Just treat each person as an individual, allow people to do what they like and are good at.

    Personal example: I have a son who chose a career in child care. This is hardly a traditional male profession, but it's what he likes and is good at. If a woman wants to work on an oil rig - hardly a traditional female profession - fine for her.

    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by skullz on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:30PM

    by skullz (2532) on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:30PM (#52731)

    Here is a good summary []

    That men and women differ in certain respects is unassailable. Unfortunately, the continuing belief in "categorical differences" - men are aggressive, women are caring — reinforces traditional stereotypes by treating certain behaviors as immutable. And, it turns out, this belief is based on a scientifically indefensible model of human behavior.

    As the psychologist Cordelia Fine explains in her book "Delusions of Gender," the influence of one kind of categorical thinking, neurosexism — justifying differential treatment by citing differences in neural anatomy or function - spills over to educational and employment disparities, family relations and arguments about same-sex institutions.

    So of course there are differences but not enough to say "girls are good at X, boys are good at Y"

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @01:41AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @01:41AM (#52819)

    > Please google "brain development gender"

    Any time you find yourself telling the person on the other side of the argument to go research and prove your point for you, the likelihood of you simply being wrong nears 100%

    > Personal example:

    Anecdotes are not data, especially when it comes to the social sciences which are always invariably about trends.

  • (Score: 2) by BasilBrush on Sunday June 08 2014, @07:42PM

    by BasilBrush (3994) on Sunday June 08 2014, @07:42PM (#53012)

    "Boy's and girl's brains are functionally identical... There is no such thing as "boys interests" or "girls interests""
    That's certainly the PC line.

    It's not the "PC" line. It's not even the line of mainstream feminists. The line is that women they should have equal opportunities and rewards to men. Not that they are the same.


    Hurrah! Quoting works now!