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ERIC Number: EJ905142
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-1071-6084
Relation of Technology, Science, Self-Concept, Interest, and Gender
Wender, Ingeborg
Journal of Technology Studies, v30 n3 p43-51 Sum 2004
In this article, the author discusses the relation of technology, science, self-concept, interest, and gender. For nearly 20 years the topic of "women and technology" has played an important role in discussions about gender equality in Germany. The very first project for promoting females started in 1978 under the title "Women in Male Occupations." It was initiated by the Federal Ministry of Education and Science and was aimed at vocational-technical levels. Soon a variety of projects followed, financially supported by the Federal and District Commission for Educational Planning and Promotion of Research and by the individual governments of the various districts. The initial incentive to develop such projects was the fact that women were highly under-represented in educational fields of technology and in those related to technology. Increasing the number of women in technology and science was a political goal. Consequently, many actions were initiated to increase women's participation in schools, universities, and/or extracurricular fields. Currently, special attention is being paid to specific subjects such as computer science and computer technology. The reason for this is the current lack of experts in these fields. Self-concept gained scientific attention for explaining the exclusion of women from technological fields, particularly young women's lack of confidence in their own efficacy to handle technical situations adequately. People with high self-efficacy expectations consider a wider spectrum of possibilities to develop themselves in relation to specific subjects and vocations and hold higher aspirations. Self-concept influences the development of interests, and interests shape self-concept. Both determine the decision to pursue a subject or a vocation. It should be stressed, though, that knowledge, self-concept (and in particular belief in self-efficacy), interests, and choices/decisions of vocation are closely related and mutually dependent. In order for girls to avoid activating gender-related knowledge, a gender separate learning situation should be available. This would contribute to building up their perceived self-efficacy and promote development of a young woman's quantitative and technical talents. The author concludes that when women are given the opportunity to engage in technical tasks and to succeed--and by doing so not to correspond to traditional gender stereotypes--they are contributing to the decline of the male stereotype traditionally connected with the perception of technology.
Epsilon Pi Tau. International Office, Technology Building, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403-0296. Tel: 419-372-2425; Fax: 419-372-9502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany