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Geek Girls

They behave better - Why don't more women go into a career in computer science, which is one of the few areas in which there are jobs available? Let's hope this changes in the future! It's not that they don't have the brains for it, it has a lot to do with stereotypes. One GOOD thing about girl geekiness: It cuts down on fights. In recent years, over 25% of adolescent girls participated in a serious fight at school or work, group-against-group fight, or an attack on others with the intent to inflict serious harm.

Researcher Pamela S. Hyde says, "These findings are alarming." Adolescent females who were not currently enrolled or attending school were more likely than those who were in school to have engaged in one of these violent behaviors and rates of violent behaviors increased as academic grades decreased.

The solution? Girls should be geeks. But the stereotype of computer scientists as nerds who stay up all night coding and have no social life may be driving women away from the field. This stereotype can be brought to mind based only on the appearance of the environment in a classroom or an office.Psychologist Sapna Cheryan says, "When people think of computer science the image that immediately pops into many of their minds is of the computer geek surrounded by such things as computer games, science fiction memorabilia and junk food. That stereotype doesn't appeal to many women who don't like the portrait of masculinity that it evokes. It is the sense you get right away when you walk into a room. You look at the objects and make an instant appraisal of how you would fit with the objects and the people who are typically found in that environment. You also make a judgment of 'I like it here' or 'I don't belong here.'"We need to broaden the image of the field so both women and men feel more welcome. In workplaces and universities we can do this by changing the way offices, hallways and labs look. The media can also play a role by updating the image of computer science. It would be nice for computer scientists in movies and television to be typical people, not only computer geeks."

But even FEMALE elementary school teachers who are anxious about math pass that fear on to female students. Studies at a school in Chicago found that boys' math performance was not related to their teacher

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