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[NPR] When Women Stopped Coding - Page 5

post #41 of 53
i suppose whether you find this problematic or not depends on if you're more or less supportive of biological determinism. opinions vary!
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post #42 of 53
I know my mother was the primary driver of technological adoption in the house when I was growing up. She's probably the second best networking expert I know.

Chances are all the women are in business oriented jobs (actually making money) instead of running around playing games with code.
post #43 of 53
I would also be in the camp of personal computers entering the mainstream. In the 70s they were largely the stuff of mainframes and existed mostly in governments, very large businesses and scientific research.

I wonder if the video game crash happening in '83 is just mere coincidence to the rise of PC's, or more than that. The crash did not really hurt computers, and it's because of that crash that game systems started being called "consoles". It was a computing-only term to get the market to consider buying video game systems again.
post #44 of 53
My gf loves programming - she is a firmware engineer. While I on the other I like programming but I am not really interested in it to put the effort. Definitely wouldn't do it as a full time job but my job requires me to do a bit of X++ every now and then which is similar to C#
post #45 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mand12 View Post

So how do you explain the massive disparity between the path of computer science and physical sciences in the graph? One continues to go up, and follows the trend in medicine and law (two other male-heavy fields prior to 1984) and the other one drops very low?

because that's a deceptive graph. the graph shows the % of women in the field. In the CS case it was artificially high to begin with, in the other natural sciences it was low to begin with. furthermore it's a NEW degree program. Meaning the number of people (total) who went into the field is naturally small in comparison to say... biology (natural science). So when the field took off and the number of men poured into it the numbers got skewed and if you're looking at a graph of a "static" population like biology (natural science) you'll see the number of women slowly gain, meanwhile computer science is NOT static... so even if more women per capita were joining the field then biology (natural science) that graph they used will make it look like LESS are joining.

a graph that would show this better would be total number of women getting a CS degree vs say a biology degree.

I'm not saying that it isn't a "male" dominated field, i'm saying the reasons they suggest for causing this overlook some basic technical skill differences between the genders. In that in the late 70's far more women could type efficiently then men, and this provided a technical hurdle for male programmers. however the trend changes in the mid 80's right at the same time the home pc became an affordable product. In short men gained the skills they were lacking previously, and suddenly a lot more men joined the field. Basically CS was a field with too FEW graduates, as a result women were over represented, however when men suddenly gained the skills necessary to enter the field a correction occurred, and women lost "percentage"... however that effect probably snowballed until computers=boystoys became a cultural thing, which then actually suppressed the number of women in the field.

Besides i'm willing to bet the gains women have had in other sciences is mimicked by a similar decline in men gaining those degrees, while the huge gain in men's CS degrees probably makes up much of that difference. That's supposition though. without more data we don't know.
 
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post #46 of 53
How is it that you've reached the conclusion that the number of women in early computer programming was "artificially high" exactly?
post #47 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mand12 View Post

How is it that you've reached the conclusion that the number of women in early computer programming was "artificially high" exactly?

He said it was because men were physically limited by their inability to type. When that was no longer an issue, the amount of men in the field took off. "Artificial" as in, there wasn't something innate in women that made them better, it was that in society they had the needed skills a the moment. Once that was no longer a limitation, men flooded in like any other STEM field.
 
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post #48 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by subyman View Post

He said it was because men were physically limited by their inability to type. When that was no longer an issue, the amount of men in the field took off. "Artificial" as in, there wasn't something innate in women that made them better, it was that in society they had the needed skills a the moment. Once that was no longer a limitation, men flooded in like any other STEM field.

And if there's any evidence of that I'd love to see it. Right now it seems like unsubstantiated assumption. How much direct typing was required in early programming, anyway? This is not the equivalent of today's coding, which is sitting putting in lines into the equivalent of a word processor. Punching up your FORTRAN cards is quite a different world.
post #49 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mand12 View Post

And if there's any evidence of that I'd love to see it. Right now it seems like unsubstantiated assumption. How much direct typing was required in early programming, anyway? This is not the equivalent of today's coding, which is sitting putting in lines into the equivalent of a word processor. Punching up your FORTRAN cards is quite a different world.

I did find this:

http://books.google.com/books?id=_XFnMfjPrvkC&pg=PA456&lpg=PA456&dq=woman+typists+programming&source=bl&ots=WVwR5TPUgA&sig=nhP76_wANNhy2A8jqKMDYmmun0I&hl=en&sa=X&ei=xIhGVJ7_LMjH8AHw0YCIAw&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=woman%20typists%20programming&f=false

It says in 1981, programming was segregated into women "key-entry" typists and the men who developed the code. It mentions years later, the two departments merged with many of the women moving into other fields while some did successfully merge with the men. It seems like it was easier for educated men to learn to type compared to typists trying to learn to program. When the two departments merged seems like the point at which women left in droves.

FWIW, I think the statistics may be skewed by poor data. A typist should not be considered a "CS programmer."
 
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post #50 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by azanimefan View Post

84 is also TOO SOON for computers = boys toys...

I don't really agree with this. 1984 was the height of the Commodore 64 and Apple II(e) golden age. Cheap PCs were available, and were beginning to be marketed as "boys toys".
Quote:
Originally Posted by azanimefan View Post

I suspect the reason why there was equality between the genders up to 84 in computer science is for a much simpler reason. Computer science isn't any different from other "engineering" course work, it tends to be heavily weighted toward men, so this is nothing new, however the early parity was likely artificial. You see, until the early 80s the almost all typists were women.

This makes more sense.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mand12 View Post

And if there's any evidence of that I'd love to see it. Right now it seems like unsubstantiated assumption. How much direct typing was required in early programming, anyway? This is not the equivalent of today's coding, which is sitting putting in lines into the equivalent of a word processor. Punching up your FORTRAN cards is quite a different world.

84 was the trailing end of the punch card era and keypunches were generally typewriter like devices that were just as commonly, if not more frequently, used by women.
Edited by Blameless - 10/21/14 at 9:49am
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