Technology, Mass Media, Society, and Gender
Selected Research and Development Presentations at the 1996 National Convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology,
This paper discusses the relationships between males and females, the computer culture, the influence of mass media, and community. Mass media images of society reflect and reinforce the stereotypes and realities of gender tracking, separating males from females beginning in childhood and extending through adult life. There is evidence of different types of usage and different attitudes toward computers between males and females--males tend to focus on the tool itself, and females tend to focus on the utility of the tool. The media capitalizes on the difference in the relationship between people and computers based on gender, further widening the gap by concentrating on or exaggerating stereotypical roles. Women are not well represented in the new generation of high technology occupations, and gender differences with their social consequences are likely to persist in computer-mediated networks. Males and females belong to separate "natural" communities--communities determined by birth--however, it is important to work together to find common ground between the male and female communities, and address the issue of gender from within a societal context, rather than from a male versus female approach. Even though the majority of computer network users are males, females must be encouraged to learn skills and be provided with opportunities to have equal access to information, and be portrayed in productive roles using technology. People can influence educational applications of the Web by designing instructional environments that attend to the needs of the female population as well as those of male. (Contains 41 references.) (Author/SWC)
Knupfer, N.N. & Rust, W.J. (1997). Technology, Mass Media, Society, and Gender. Presented at Selected Research and Development Presentations at the 1996 National Convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology 1997.