Does Computer Use Reinforce Gender Inequity? A Literature Review of the Relationship between Gender and Computer Use
As often argued by many researchers, the notion of gender is socially constructed. As the computer using context changes, there may be different meanings associated with gender. This is an important distinction, since it demonstrates that different computer using contexts can construct different gendered experiences, possibly leading to the qualitatively different gendered experience in computer use. Hence, after reviewing research that deals with gendered computer use, particularly in the K-12 context, I argue in this paper that computer use in many cases has reinforced the gender specific behaviors and bias. Recent research suggests that computers shape and are shaped by the social constructions of gender norms and values. Further, computer use is also simultaneously influenced by the gender roles and behaviors with which the students bring. Finally, I argue that by attending to the differences and thus their possible consequences toward gender inequity, one can make difference in minimizing the gap.
Keywords: Gender, Computer Use in primary school, Computer Use in secondary school
Emmy Jungwon Min
University of California Riverside