Gender and Computers
Understanding the Digital Divide
Psychology Press – 2003 – 182 pages
Gender and Computers presents evidence that shows that girls and young women are being left behind on the road to information technology. This book not only documents the digital divide but also provides guideposts to overcoming it. Social psychological theories and data are brought to bear on understanding the societal and environmental roots of the divide. Remedies ranging from family dynamics to teacher-student interactions to the controversial question of the gender organization of schools and school systems are proposed.
Gender and Computers: Understanding the Digital Divide:
*considers the authors' original research as well as recently published work by other leading scholars;
*documents that girls are at a marked disadvantage in their ability to learn about and profit from information technology in our educational system;
*sets the problem of computer anxiety in a rich context of social psychological theories, including stereotype threat, self-fulfilling prophecy, social comparison and attribution theory; and
*offers suggestions that parents, teachers, and school systems can implement to overcome the digital divide.
The book is intended to appeal to students and researchers in the social and behavioral sciences, education, human factors, and computer science interested in gender differences in general, and in human-computer interaction, in particular. The authors' goal is to stimulate social scientists and educators to further research this topic to generate solutions to the problem.
"Gender and Computers presents evidence that shows girls and young women are being left behind on the road to information technology. This book not only documents the digital divide but also provides guideposts to overcoming it. The authors' goal is to stimulate social scientists and educators to further research this topic to generate solutions to the problem."
"The authors introduce a variety of pertinent psychological studies, mostly experimental, in the text to inform and convince the readers about the digital divide. This book could be an excellent supplementary text for undergraduate and graduate courses pertaining to gender equity in education."
—Electronic Magazine of Multicultural Education
"…the book is a joy to read. I, at least, was immediately 'hooked,' wanted to 'read on'…[It] is likely to be in the 'same league' as Bob Cialdini's Influence and Elliot Aronson's Nobody Left to Hate--two important (and unique) books that are equally 'at home' in the living room and the college classroom…this book is about something that is extraordinarily important that is relevant to (or 'touches') virtually everybody…Cooper is the acknowledged expert in this area…."
—Mark Zanna, Ph.D.
University of Waterloo, Canada
"I enjoyed reading the material and I'm sure undergraduates would, too. The anecdotes are interesting."
—Janet S. Hyde, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin/Madison
"This book will appeal to those who teach psychologically oriented college-level courses on gender issues, and on the social implications of computer technology….it it addresses a timely and important topic."
—Richard C. Sherman, Ph.D.
Contents: Preface. Introducing the Problem. Computer Anxiety: A Matter of Gender. The Social Context of Computing. Expectancies and the Computer. A Threat in the Air. Working Toward Solutions. Solutions: Single-Sex Schools and Classrooms?