Saturday, October 9, 2010

Gender Stereotypes and Technology

Have you heard of this stereotype about men being so much better with technology than women? Well, just like all other gender stereotypes, this one is complete rubbish. I just finished grading the first oral exam in my Advanced Spanish Conversation course. Every single female student managed to open the files with the exam, record the responses and get them to me without any problem whatsoever. Male students, though, failed at this fairly simple task miserably. Only one male student managed to get the exam to me and that happened after a lot of prompting on my part. The rest are a complete disaster. They recorded several tracks on top of each other, sent me the files in a wrong format, or submitted empty files.

Now I have no idea what to do with a group where all male students failed the exam and all female students did extremely well. And all because the men in the group can't use even some very basic technology.

7 comments:

sptc said...

What program are you using?

Pagan Topologist said...

This is curious. I also would not know what to do.

However, I sometimes think you overplay the "no gender differences" theme in other situations, too. How many female players were there in the World Cup matches?

Clarissa said...

Since when are women allowed on the World Cup teams??

Of course, when I say there are no gemder differences, I mean except the obvious physiological ones.

In terms of soccer, as long as there is 1 woman who plays better than any 1 men, there are no gender differences in this area.

I have read all genuine scientific research I could find on the subject. For now, the unanimous conclusion is that nobody has been able to prove the existence of any innate differences in the way men and women think, learn, act, talk, etc., etc.

Clarissa said...

sptc: We are using the very simple Power Point and Audacity.

MPMR said...

This isn't surprising to me, as what I have heard from admissions people is that the acceptance standards for men are lower than the acceptance standards for women (and consequently the acceptance rate for men is higher than the acceptance rate for women, even though the number of women admitted is higher than the number of men), in hopes of keeping something of a gender balance on campuses.

I have not noticed it so much in my classes, but what is still true in my (male-dominated) field is that the courses I teach for non-majors are perhaps 75-80% female, and the courses I teach for majors are 75-80% male.

V said...

My daughter took over the management of our local network at the age of 15. :) She also helps her friends to buy various computer gadgets - male computer store clerks often attempt to convince the girls to buy unnecessary goods or services. :) She is also setting up said gadgets for her friends. And she is in the arts program, not computer science or engineering...

sptc said...

Audacity. Thank you Clarissa!!!