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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 urza9814 on Tuesday June 10 2014, @12:00AM

    by urza9814 (3954) on Tuesday June 10 2014, @12:00AM (#53475) Journal

    My mother was told by her father that she wasn't allowed to go to college, because that wasn't something women were supposed to do. That would have been in the late 70s or early 80s.

    The generation currently entering the workforce may very well be the first that hasn't had many explicit sexist regulations about what careers and education they could or could not have. There's still plenty of implicit and explicit messaging along those lines, if for no other reason than inertia. We've never really had an opportunity to study if there are gender differences in career choice beyond what is pushed by existing social norms. The difference is there, but we have no idea why. Hormones? Brain structure? Societal pressure? Physical attributes? Seems like something worth studying to me.

    But yes, even though there's never before been an opportunity to do a rigorous scientific study on this, even though the entire concept is pretty damn novel in the course of human history, you've apparently gotten it all figured out in only five minutes. Guess you just must be the next goddamn Einstein!

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