Gender parity in intro CS class doesn’t imply gender parity in degree
This article from TechCrunch seems mis-named, “No women in CS? Well, not for long!” The intro course at Stanford now has gender parity, which is terrific. But the article talks about how that isn’t translating into gender parity in the degree. Optimistic thinking is great, but ignoring the data isn’t.
Many students continue from 106A to further develop their skills in CS 106B. But those who want to major in computer science must continue from 106B to the daunting 107, often considered a “weeding” class to separate the wheat from the chaff before students can take upper-level courses.
Women do just as well as men in CS 106A and 106B but continue on to 107 in far fewer numbers. While many students, regardless of gender, drop the class, several students say that stereotypes, misconceptions, and lack of confidence cause women to drop the class in large numbers. The often anti-social, male-dominated culture is characterized by 107’s unofficial mantra of “dump your girlfriend before this class.”