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Papers Relating to Gender and Computing

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Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility

Papers Relating to Gender and Computing

This page will of course always be under construction, as the body of work on gender issues and computing continues to grow. This is an exciting area for research, and an important area for consideration of the political implication of computer network technology.  Feel free to notify me of calls for paper submissions, and I will post them here.


Call for Papers


Fitzroy Dearborn's Encyclopedia of 20th-Century Technology,

edited by Colin Hempstead, was announced in September 2001 and is

scheduled for publication in Spring 2003. As of January 2002, over 140

contributors have signed up. A small number of entries remain unassigned and we

are seeking authors for these so that the list of entries can be closed

and we can proceed with the writing and review phases.


Scientists and historians of science and technology who are interested in

contributing some of the remaining unassigned entries should look at the

project web site:




The following are journals which relate to the Internet and computer mediated communication, Information technology, virtual environments, etc.  Consider submitting gender and computing related articles to them.

Journal of Computer Mediated Communication  Online since 1995, this excellent online journal from the Annenberg School for Communication at USC published peer reviewed articles on various aspects of computer mediated communication.

Journal of Online Behavior  (ISSN 1092-4790) Readers may browse JOB is a new, electronic journal, dedicated to the empirical study of human behavior online. The Journal accepts submissions for full-length articles, as well as shorter research reports. The editor is Joseph B. Walther, and the publisher is Behavior Online (

            Journal of Virtual Environments (formerly the Journal of MUD Research)

Along with this name change, we have broadened the scope of the journal to include not just MUD environments, but ALL multi-user virtual environments. It is our sincere hope that this new scope will better serve the interests of our readership and contribute more fully to the discussion and dissemination of research within the field. In addition to the name change, we have implemented a much needed "face lift" to the web site in order to make navigation through our journal a much more pleasant and user-friendly experience. We have also added new members to the editorial board.

Types of Articles

Empirical Research

Empirical Research articles present data and results of scientific research conducted on or with Virtual Environments.

Theoretical Contributions

Theoretical Contribution articles may review research and present theoretical frameworks for understanding behavior on Virtual Environments, evaluate the relative merits of different theories, or suggest new procedures for conducting VE research.

Comments and Reviews

Comments are short, thought-provoking articles intended to bring out problems of general interest to Virtual Environment researchers, or to respond to articles in the Journal. Reviews present a critical synopsis of research Published elsewhere (books or articles) which may be of interest to VE researchers.

JOVE will also consider VE oriented website reviews, reports/reviews of new developments in VE technologies/applications, as well as reports/reviews/case studies of VE project developments.


Books related to computing

Sherry Turkle's - Life on the Screen.

Dale Spender's - Nattering on the Net.

Cynthia Cockburn and S. Ormrod's - Gender and Technology in the Making.

Steve Jones – Identity and Communication in Cybersociety

General Bibliography

Gender Issues Bibliography by Leslie Regan-Shade.

Gender, Education and Computing

Girls and Inequalities in Education
This site deals with gender inequalities in education, equity for girls means equity for everyone. By following gender equity guidelines to improve education, it is improved for boys as well as for girls. The goal of this website is not to neglect or suppress boy's, by putting boys and girls on an equal plane, the relatively increased valuing of girls will also benefit boys by informing them of the strengths, capabilities and contributions of girls and women. This site deals with in depth the issue of inequality and discrimination towards women. It is categorized as such, gender,computing and kids, the gender gap in the computing fields, apple classrooms of tomorrow, boys muscle girls out, girls need space, computer projects for mother and daughter, expanding your horizons with math and science, computers and technology: differences in gender, gender bias in educational software, educational software for girls, as you can see this site includes information and educational essays written to broaden your understanding of gender inequality.

Gender Gap in Computers
People who are wondering why there continues to exist a gender gap in computing should read this article. The article discusses a study that they conducted on children and their interest in computers. They focused on the children's socioeconomic background, the stereotypes that their parents had toward computers, and how the children's parent's stereotypes influenced their children. The discoveries that they made might help explain why girls do not approach computers as much as boys. Maybe it's not just the idea that girls are not as interested or smart as boys, maybe it's the fact that their parents have something to do with it. This intriguing article has many discoveries why the gender gap continues to grow in the computer industry and anyone interested should read it.

Educational pipeline issues for women by Nancy Levison

The Incredible Shrinking Pipeline by Tracy Camp. A paper on the declining number of women entering and graduating from CS programs. Also appears in Communications of the ACM, v. 40, no. 10, pp. 103-110, Oct. 1997.

Lack of Women Majoring in Computer Science
Why is it that women choose no to major in Computer Science? Or if they do choose Computer Science, later they decide to change their major? This article has the answers to these questions. It's not the fact that men are smarter than women in the subject of Math, but it goes beyond that. An answer to these questions is the idea that women lack experience with computers. This article tries to answer questions that many have asked, especially women. Women and men can now read this article and try to understand the reasons why their lack's women college students in the Computer Science classes.

Women undergraduate enrollment in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT The final report of the EECS Women Undergraduate Enrollment Committee.

An action plan put out by the University of Madison, Wisconsin, for women in science, engineering, and computing.

Communication Online and Gaming

Cross-Gender Communication in Cyberspace by Gladys We.
Gladys We shows how many people have claimed that CMC, Computer Mediated Communication, improves communication between women and men This is a miraculous electronics which is mediated by nothing more than computers and wires where people can communicate individually with each other. The internet is full of practical spaces where men and women can meet and talk. However many different types of interactions take place online, yet when the contact is professional the subject seems relatively free of gender cues. Moreover, when tit is social there are so many ways of communication can go on. Some women flirt with men, others need emotional support, yet this goes both ways for men and women, and some men felt it was easier for them to get to know the women online better.

Gender differences in communication: an intercultural experience by Becky Michele Mulvaney.

Gender differences in computer-mediated communication: bringing familiar baggage to the new frontier

by Susan Herring.

Gender Issues in Computer Networking by Leslie Regan Shade.
Leslie Regan Shade discusses some of the key issues and controversies that have arisen regarding gender and computer networking , participation of women in computer science, participation of women in networking, social interactions, pornography, and the use of networking by women. The statistics according to her show that only a small percentage of computer scientists and computer professionals are female. The breakdown of gender usage on various networks is difficult to measure, but it is easy to say that women are not well represented on most networks. In her statistics it shows that many women complain that various newsgroups and networking environments are hostile towards them. There were many debates going on within various universities in North America as to whether or not it is appropriate to edit the hierarchy within UseNet. She also highlights some of the positive benefits of computer networking for women, which have been increasingly recognized by female scholars as being a tool for feminist empowerment, lists for female miedievalists to Wisenet, and another list for women in science and engineering. The Internet According to Leslie should create a friendly online environment that will allow women to speak their thoughts without having to hide their gender.

Gender issues in on-line communications by Hoai-An Truong and others of the Bay Area Women in Telecom.
In this article, the main subject that was talked about was how gender follows people to the online community. Men and women are continuously treated differently due to their gender. "The experiences of women online are both personal and political." Many women do not enter the computer field due to the fact that it is ruled by men. 10-15% is the number of women that comprise many online systems. One reason given as to why this is, was because women's salaries on an average are usually 40% lower than men's. Therefore they do not have extra money to spend on such luxuries as computers, modems, software and on line servers. Even though women use computers in the business world computers are still ruled by men.

Gender Issues in Computing
The site contained five pages that were the Introduction, Games, IRC, Discussion, and Jobs. The Games pages discussed girl gaming groups for Tomb Raider and Quake. The IRC page discussed the propositions that occur as soon as some females enter the IRC. It also discussed how no matter where you go on the IRC, you usually have to identify your gender. She was concerned why that was important. The site contained a discussion page that I thought was going to contain a type of message board, but only discussed the inequality of gender in the computer world. She stated that women were 1 in 10 in the computer world.

Gender Gap in the Computing Field

The Gender Gap in the Computing Field
Why are there far more male computer professors than female ones? Women are just as qualified as the men, yet generally women stop their training in computer science earlier than men. This article explains why men dominate this field, and what two things need to be done to eliminate the gender gap in computer science. Also discussed is the stereotypes that result in the general atmosphere of computer science. After all, increasing the number of women in the computing field will encourage other women to pursue the profession as well. This web site is very informative, with links to other sites dealing with computing and gender.

Ellen Spertus has made available some of her writings on women in computer science and engineering.

     I'm a Stranger Here Myself: A Consideration of Women in Computing, by Janet Cottrell

Why Are There So Few Female Computer Scientists? by Ellen Spertus.

Wired_Women: Gender and New Realities in Cyberspace. (Selections from a new book).

Women and Computing by Karen Frenkel.
This Article covers the why of so few women are involved in the world of science and technology. In with the ways of teaching these subject or actually getting hands on training. Also this article covers the ways of teaching women, girls, men and boys. Why there are so many different ways to teach them.

The committee on women in science and engineering
of the national research council serves as a national focus to advocate action for increasing the participation of women in the science and engineering work force. CWSE also acts as an informational resource to improve understanding of the issues that affect the number of women who pursue careers in science and engineering. This is a site dedicated for the purpose of tech. support for women in science or engineering, it gives an underrepresented segment of the workforce a informational and technological support base.

Women in AI by Dale Strok

Social Construction of Gender Online


Gender Swapping on the Internet by Amy Bruckman.


Gender Swapping on the Internet
Male or female, hmm? Many internet users face this question ever time they log on. This web site was designed primary to explain what gender swapping is, and why so many people on the internet are doing it. Cybersex, sexual gratification, seeking advice, or simply toying with someone's mind these are many of the reasons listed in this site as to why people gender swap. So how do you protect yourself from being fooled, on the identity of the person you may speaking to on the internet? This web site tells you what to look out for and why gender swapping is reconstructing gender on the net.


Of Mind, Body and Machine: Cyborg Cultural Politics in the Age of Hypertext. by Julie Albright. This article discusses the possibilities for the feminist project inherent in hypertext (web-based) technology. Presented at the Cybernetics and Systems Conference in 1998 at the University of Vienna, Austria.


Women of Color and Computing


Review on "The color of information's technology forgetting women
Jill Corral wrote an article on gender and computing in Hear Us Emerging Sisters (HUES). As the information superhighway continue to emerge, the women of color felt left out. It lead to the discussion that men are good in science and math and therefore are more acceptable in the technology field. The other argument involved the affordability of minorities buying a computer. Their financial resources are limited. On the other hand, women are actively introducing the technology to children in school and in the library.


Articles Available Offline

In the Gender Relations in Educational Applications of Technology (GREAT) magazine, Volume 1, Issue 1, 16 March 1998, I found the article "The Gender Gap in the Computing Field." The article discussed the inequalities between men and women in the computer world. According to Computer World Magazine, females receive 15 to 20% of bachelor degrees in Computer Science. Fewer receive Masters degrees, and even fewer receive a Ph.D. The article also discusses how software is mainly targeted for boys instead of for both. Due to the different expectations held for women, they tend to have lower self-esteem that leads to a decrease in the ability to work effectively and productively. The author of the article feels that equality needs to be dealt with at its base. Equal access to computers must be started at an early age. If the software available were more educational, a girl's interest would be sparked. Hopefully the author's suggestion to the computer industry about more educational software for girls will improve the path for women in the computer industry.

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