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Getting women to use computers

Shan Duncan duncan at loris.cisab.indiana.edu
Tue Dec 8 14:51:41 EST 1992

Daniel Zabetakis (dan at cubmol.bio.columbia.edu) wrote:
: In article <9212041542.AA11807 at teosinte.agron.missouri.edu.agron.missouri.edu> maryp at TEOSINTE.AGRON.MISSOURI.EDU (Mary Polacco) writes:
: >The orginal memo seemed like a red flag to provoke - no data, just a gut
: >feeling.

:    To provoke discussion, sure. Of course, there isn't much reliable data
: about computer use. Usenet is well known to be male dominated. 

  Don't you just love language.  Interesting choice of words here.

Even groups
: dealing specifically with women issues and feminism are often domintaed by
: men.

:    The issue is how to get women more involved. It is my observation that
: the people who use computers in this department are usually men. Our
: department has a large number of women (I don't know the percentage, but it
: is around 50%, I'm sure).

Very nice commentary on our time to be sure.


:    I have to point out one thing, and that is that the audience of this
: group is solely those who have developed computer skills. Hardly and
: unbiased view.
:    I still think that both biologist and women have an aversion to computers.
: Mind you, I'm not saying anything about aptitude, or that anything is 
: anyone's fault.

        Repeat after me:  Computers are a tool. 

:    Many people hve expressed to me the thought that biologists are math-
: and computer-phobic. I know some people who would rather have dental work 
: than have to sit at a keyboard.

    Biologist - all fields?  Tell that to the molecular people who
*have* to use computers as a necessary tool.  Therefore, they receive
the proper training in using this tool.  Past experience is very
important here. Resources  available also.  Hey I can't use a sewing
machine to save my life!  But in no way would I say I have an aversion
to sewing machines.  Of course I am using a *very* stereotypic example
here... with reason.

:    If women have no aversion to computers, then we would have to account
: for thier underrepresentation on usenet. I think it clear that women are
: found in reduced numbers because they are not well represented in the 
: field that usually have access to usenet (math, science, physics,
engineering, : computer science, to varying degrees.).

   How about looking at the proportions of women who have access, and
training *and* find usenet a useful resource in sciene?  Let's look to
see if anything is changing...

: -- 
: This article is for entertainment purposes only. Any facts, opinions,
: narratives or ideas contained herein are not necessarily true, and do
: not necessarily represent the views of any particular person.  


Dr Shan Duncan                                duncan at loris.cisab.indiana.edu
CISAB- Indiana University                     sdduncan at indiana.edu
402 N. Park Ave
Bloomington,  IN.  47405
(812) 855-5895         (812) 855-9663 (main office)    (812) 855-0411 (FAX)

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