- The popular perceptions have changed from computer-as-tool in business or science due to the rise of computer gaming which is culturally male.
- The notion that computing is a geeky pursuit has become more wide spread and girls are turned off to that.
- Nursing, for instance, is more attractive in terms of employment prospects.
- In order for women to feel uninhibited about pursuing a computing career, it helps for them to have been raised in a home where both parents had careers in technical fields and computing was a visible activity in the household.
I don't buy any of those explanations. The "build a computer game girls like and you will wind up with women programmers" seems a slight favorite among the researchers queried but it strikes me as terminally male-chauvinist: Just because the gaming route is an attraction to the field for men does not mean it should be for women.
I will buy and review Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat: New Perspectives on Gender and Gaming when I my projects at work stop spilling over into my hours at home;)
DOH! its the friggen hours! Its the unbalance of work and home life?