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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.905 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Print: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v1.i3.50
pages 237-252

EXAMINATION OF COMPUTER SOFTWARE IN RELATION TO GENDER DIFFERENTIATION

Netiva Caftori
Department of Computer Science, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, Illinois 60625

ABSTRACT

Prior research indicates that much software is designed to appeal to boys without consideration of the effect it has on girls. The main concern here is to discover the characteristics in a particular software that attract boys and those features that appeal more to girls. The use of computers in school is therefore examined with a focus on gender differentiation in the software. A questionnaire was administered to 60 students in grades 1−3 to determine characteristics in educational software to which the responses of girls and boys differ and also to find out other gender-related differences in their comportment surrounding computers. An analysis of the questionnaire responses revealed few of these characteristics but demonstrated that gender differences are only minor. Recommendations are made to software designers and to educators on how to program or choose software to be used in more equal environments. Suggestions are given for future investigations.


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