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Gender Stereotypes and Attitudes
Towards Information and
Communication Technologies in a
Sample of Spanish Secondary
Stude...
2
• Scarcity of women in computer science and telecommunications engineering
(Women’s Institute, 2012; Castaño, 2011; Sáin...
3
Ilustration of gender roles and stereotypical portrayals
Sàinz, Meneses, Fàbregues, & Lòpez, 2014
4
Theoretical background
Multicomponent model of Gender Stereotypes. DEUX & LEWIS, 1984
Sàinz, Meneses, Fàbregues, & Lòpez...
5
Emotional and semantic evaluation of the
characteristics associated with ICT professionals
Sàinz, Meneses, Fàbregues, & ...
Two independent coders were trained in three sessions to identify in the responses of
900 students:
I. the presence (1) or...
7
Results
1. Hypothesis. Students’ portrayals about ICT professionals will contain characteristics more
aligned with male ...
8
Results
Hypothesis 2. Students’ portrayals about ICT professionals will contain more negative than
positive or neutral a...
9
Results
Hypothesis 2. Students’ portrayals about ICT professionals will contain more negative than
positive or neutral a...
10
Results
Hypothesis 3. The characteristics associated with ICT professionals will contain more masculine
than feminine o...
I. Our participants have gender stereotypical portraits of who produces and uses
certain ICT tools and services (Sáinz, 20...
Gender Stereotypes and Attitudes
Towards Information and
Communication Technologies in a
Sample of Spanish Secondary
Stude...
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Gender Stereotypes and Attitudes Towards Information and Communication Technology Professionals in a Sample of Spanish Secondary Students

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In this presentation the authors (Milagros Sáinz, Julio Meneses, Beatriz-Soledad López and Sergi Fàbregues) examine young people’s gender-stereotyped beliefs and attitudes about people working in ICT. Nine hundred students from Catalonia (51% girls) enrolled in the last course of junior secondary education (mean of age=15 years old; S.D.=1.73) participated. As expected, the boys and girls held several stereotypical beliefs about ICT professionals. , These stereotypical beliefs described a masculine portrayal of ICT workers. Contrary to expectations, most of the students’ portrayals of people working in ICT were either positive or neutral, not negative. Likewise, and contrary to predictions, young males did not show more positive attitudes towards ICT professionals than girls. No gender differences were observed in the type of characteristics associated with ICT professionals. However, young females were more likely to offer feminine references about professions where ICT is the tool rather than the object of their work.

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Gender Stereotypes and Attitudes Towards Information and Communication Technology Professionals in a Sample of Spanish Secondary Students

  1. 1. Gender Stereotypes and Attitudes Towards Information and Communication Technologies in a Sample of Spanish Secondary Students Sáinz, Milagros; Meneses, Julio; López, Beatriz-Soledad & Fabrègues, S. Sex Roles, doi:10.1007/s11199-014-0424-2 1 Sàinz, Meneses, Fàbregues, & Lòpez, 2014
  2. 2. 2 • Scarcity of women in computer science and telecommunications engineering (Women’s Institute, 2012; Castaño, 2011; Sáinz & Eccles, 2012) • Gender differences in study choices emerge in adolescence when secondary students begin to orient their academic trajectory through the selection of subjects (Sáinz et al., 2004; Eccles, Barber, & Jozefowicz, 1999) • Young people use stereotypical portrayals of occupations when contemplating future career choices (Eccles, 2007; Cheyran et al., 2012) • Young people also tend to choose a career that is reflective of their personality (Holland, 1985) and coincide with their self-image (Moss & Frieze, 1993) Introduction Sàinz, Meneses, Fàbregues, & Lòpez, 2014
  3. 3. 3 Ilustration of gender roles and stereotypical portrayals Sàinz, Meneses, Fàbregues, & Lòpez, 2014
  4. 4. 4 Theoretical background Multicomponent model of Gender Stereotypes. DEUX & LEWIS, 1984 Sàinz, Meneses, Fàbregues, & Lòpez, 2014 PHYSICAL APPERANCE OCCUPATIONS ROLE BEHAVIORS PERSONAL TRAITS Cheryan, Play, Handron & Hudson, 2013
  5. 5. 5 Emotional and semantic evaluation of the characteristics associated with ICT professionals Sàinz, Meneses, Fàbregues, & Lòpez, 2014 CHERYAN, PLAY, HANDRON, & HUDSON, 2013 Different appraisals of the characteristics associated with ICT professionals Some characteristics of these professionals will lead to a positive or negative evaluation of ICT professionals Use of semantic gender when describing ICT professionals’ characteristics Asymmetrical representation of men and women in the ICT field
  6. 6. Two independent coders were trained in three sessions to identify in the responses of 900 students: I. the presence (1) or absence (0) of the characteristics associated with the research question (in light of Deaux & Lewis’ theory on the multidimensional structure of gender stereotypes and Eagly’s social role theory) II. whether these characteristics involved negative, positive, or neutral appraisals (in line with a literature review on students’ attitudes towards ICT professionals) III. whether these characteristics were masculine, feminine, or neutral (drawing on literature on the use of grammatical gender to look at the asymmetrical representation of men and women in occupations) 6 Method A content analysis of the following open-ended question was followed: “What type of person comes to mind when you think about someone working in ICT?” Sàinz, Meneses, Fàbregues, & Lòpez, 2014
  7. 7. 7 Results 1. Hypothesis. Students’ portrayals about ICT professionals will contain characteristics more aligned with male rather than female gender roles Sáinz, Meneses, López, & Fàbregues, 2014 30,60% 10,90% 10,10% 31,90% 3,30% 28,20% 18% Int Aptitudes Physical App Social Skills Role models Social Position ICT Design Prof ICT Use Prof Portrayals of ICT professionals
  8. 8. 8 Results Hypothesis 2. Students’ portrayals about ICT professionals will contain more negative than positive or neutral appraisals Sáinz, Meneses, López, & Fàbregues, 2014 Males Females Chi-Square Negative 26 (7.7%) 22 (6.1%) 1.797 Neutral 201 (59.6%) 231 (64.3%) Positive 110 (32.6%) 106 (29.5%) Total 337 359 Contrary to expectations, both girls and boys tended to appraise the different characteristics associated with ICT professionals in neutral and positive terms rather than in negative terms
  9. 9. 9 Results Hypothesis 2. Students’ portrayals about ICT professionals will contain more negative than positive or neutral appraisals Sáinz, Meneses, López, & Fàbregues, 2014 Appraisals Males Females Chi-Square Physical Appearance Negative Neutral Positive 10 (24.4%) 11 (26.8%) 20 (48.8%) 5 (14.3%) 12 (34.3%) 18 (51.4%) 44.189*** Intelectual Aptitudes Negative Neutral Positive 11 (10.4%) 6 (5.7%) 89 (84%) 10 (9.3%) 13 (12.1%) 84 (78.5%) 392.688*** Social Skills Negative Neutral Positive 13 (40.6%) 3 (9.4%) 16 (50%) 14 (36.8%) 4 (10.5%) 20 (52.6%) 157.647*** Against predictions, both girls and boys tended to evaluate more positively than negative ICT professionals’ physical appearance, intellectual aptitudes, and social skills. Interestingly, boys were more likely than girls to evaluate negatively ICT professionals’ physical appearance.
  10. 10. 10 Results Hypothesis 3. The characteristics associated with ICT professionals will contain more masculine than feminine or neutral references Sáinz, Meneses, López, & Fàbregues, 2014 Males Females Chi-Square Masculine 41 (12.2%) 35 (9.7%) 5.041 Feminine 17 (5%) 29 (8.1%) Neutral 152 (45.1%) 177 (49.3%) Total 337 359 In line with expectations, both girls and boys regarded the different characteristics associated with ICT professionals as neutral and masculine rather than as feminine
  11. 11. I. Our participants have gender stereotypical portraits of who produces and uses certain ICT tools and services (Sáinz, 2007) II. This research illustrates a social phenomenon associated with the historical production and reproduction of power and status in technological fields in Spain, as well as with masculine forms of ICT occupations (Rudman & Glick, 2010) III. As most of the prestigious and managerial jobs are related to technology (López- Sáez et al., 2011), this field continues to be a male-dominated setting where women tend to occupy traditional feminine ICT positions and play a secondary role in the design and production of ICT tools and services (Sáinz & Eccles, 2012) IV. Consequently, the stereotype that women lack technological competence will be reinforced and women will run the risk of being ‘stigmatized’ as users and not competent producers of ICT tools and services (Sáinz & Eccles, 2012) 11 Implications Sáinz, Meneses, López, & Fàbregues, 2014
  12. 12. Gender Stereotypes and Attitudes Towards Information and Communication Technologies in a Sample of Spanish Secondary Students Sáinz, Milagros; Meneses, Julio; López, Beatriz-Soledad & Fabrègues, S. Sex Roles, doi:10.1007/s11199-014-0424-2 12 Sàinz, Meneses, Fàbregues, & Lòpez, 2014

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