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Kids, Teens Believe Girls Not Interested in CS: Study

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The University of Washington's Andrew Meltzoff said that, while the surveys showed the pervasiveness of gender-based stereotypes around interest in computer science and engineering, the experiments demonstrated how stereotypes can affect a sense of belong

Credit: University of Washington News

Researchers at the universities of Houston and Washington found that the majority of children surveyed believe girls are less interested than boys in computer science (CS) and engineering.

The researchers gauged the beliefs of a racially diverse sample of children and teenagers in grades 1 through 12.

Two studies surveying more than 2,200 children and teens found that an estimated 51% of respondents thought girls to be less interested than boys in CS, while 63% said girls are less interested in engineering.

In experiments, girls were found to be less interested in a CS activity when told boys were more interested in it than girls, versus one in which they were told boys and girls were equally interested.

Said the University of Washington's Andrew Meltzoff, "The mere presence of the stereotype influenced kids in dramatic ways. This brought home to us the pernicious effect of stereotypes on children and teens."

From University of Washington News
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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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