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Boys, Girls, and Microcomputing

Elisabeth Lage
European Journal of Psychology of Education
Vol. 6, No. 1 (MARCH 1991), pp. 29-44
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23422234
Page Count: 16
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Boys, Girls, and Microcomputing
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Abstract

In an attempt better to understand why, on the whole, girls are not very interested in computers, we have tried to investigate social representations of technical interest attributed to one or the other gender in primary and junior-high school. The results of the impressions formation test and those of a survey indicate that primary-school pupils consider boys and girls to be equally involved in technical fields and a girl «computer enthusiast» is perceived as a very attractive person. At the junior-high level, students no longer perceive this equality of gender in technical interests and they judge a girl «computer enthusiast» negatively. Moreover, girls themselves consider that too keen an interest in computers is evidence of loneliness and problems with sexual identity. A boy's involvement with computers does not change his image, whatever the gender or the age of the subjects. Thus, the influence of the normative model of feminine identity can explain in part the drop in interest for computers observed in secondary-school girls.

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