ERIC Number: ED265848
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Gender and Computers: The Beneficial Effects of Experience on Attitudes.
A study was conducted to examine gender differences in computer attitudes and experiences of adolescents. A random, systematic sample of students (1,138) from five San Francisco Bay area high schools was surveyed for their uses of computers before and during their high school years. Four main categories of data were collected: (1) instructional and informal computer experiences of high school students; (2) students' attitudes toward computers; (3) social influences affecting computer use; and (4) student background and demographic data. Findings indicate that adolescent males had greater total exposure to computers, based primarily on higher enrollments in computer programming classes and participation in voluntary experiences, such as home computer use. Fewer gender differences were found in enrollment in classes using computers for purposes other than programming. Overall, males also held more positive attitudes of interest in, and confidence with, computers than did females. However, controlling for amount of computer experience indicated that males and females responded with similar levels of interest. Social influences, particularly those among peer groups, are explored as important factors for differential rates of participation in computer activities. It is suggested that the job of preparing male and female students for prospective career paths and helping them to realize the occupational utility of computer experience remains a challenge for our schools. A three-page list of references completes the document. (JB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Researchers
Sponsor: Lilly Endowment, Inc., Indianapolis, IN.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Conference on Computers & Children (Ann Arbor, MI, October 1985). A project of the Education and Technology Panel of the Study of Stanford and the Schools.