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Contrary to what a paragraph has said, I think it is unlikely that socio-structural factors like (a) gender stereotypes, (b) (in)accurate biased socialization practices, are preventing women from reaching parity of results at all levels in software development and engineering. These cannot explain why men do not outnumber women in all STEM fields, some fields are almost equal in proportion (enrollment rates). Mathematics, for example. So things like (a) and (b) are extremely poor explanations, unless one assumes that other STEMs fields are not largely affected by (a) and (b). The effect size of other factors are probably much larger and they go beyond stereotypes and socio-constructed behavior. And a certain degree of masculinization of the fields in question is not indicative of underlying socio-structural factors. I think it is indicative of the fact that software development and engineering has historically and functionally been built around men and has benefited from men's preferences and traits. In this sense it is possible that software development and engineering will always be shaped around masculine traits like extreme reification, systemizing and novelty seeking.
Demographics and socioeconomic aspects of the modern industry, survivorship effect, along with sex differences, are more likely to be the cause of whatever "masculine techie culture" is and/or the prevalence of males in computing nowadays. Iran has more women entering CompSci courses than Norway. Perhaps more important than gender norms being a cause when it comes to drawing women to computer programming academically and/or in the OSS community, it is more likely to be one of the effects of the industry around it, demographics, socioeconomics and sex differences. One of the explanations as to why there are more women graduating from computer science in Iran than in Norway or Sweden, despite the greater gender egalitarian norms and policies of Nordic countries, is that the field of computer science has changed a lot since the 70's. If there is a male advantage in programming skills, it is very domain-specific and small. Computer science itself stopped being "An Academic Thing" and became not only more like engineering, but much more pragmatic as a business and application oriented field. Computer science in developed countries tended to reward people who spend many hours programming in social isolation, developing tools to solve domain-specific application problems. There are gender differences in network and social isolation. There is evidence that men tend to be more isolated than women, living more like single individuals and spending more extra-hours working in and off the schedule. Men are generally more socially isolated because they tend to develop emotional intimacy when they are in partnership with a few significant others, while women tend to report larger networks to derive the same sense of emotional intimacy.
In 2007, the science historian Martin Campbell-Kelly wrote an article "The History of the History of Software", where he writes about how he initially wrote histories of the technical aspects of computer software back in the 70's but now he's evolved into writing more about the applications and implications of software technologies. He argues that the whole field of the history of software has moved in the same directions. My hypothesis is that men tend to be much more adapted to pragmatic computer science early, historically, because of the requirements of the field. But this is changing rapidly, as one doesn't need to spend too many hours studying documentation and programming interfaces to develop their own applications and products. The collaborative nature of open source development has contributed to change that as well, but the most fundamental breakthroughs in software development were initially developed in isolation, by the so called basement dwellers or small groups of socially isolated developers. The second generation of software developers that enrolled in universities in the 80s were these pioneers of software development for personal computing. Donald Knuth, one of the great computer scientists, says that he started to cry when he read Martin's paper:
"In the 1960s and 1970s people wrote about code and software engineering practices. Starting in the 1980s people began to write about software as an economic activity—primarily the supply-side industry. Some of these studies also began to look tentatively at issues of labor supply and organization. In the 1990s, especially, we began to see books that set software in a much broader institutional, social, or political setting—for example, Emerson Pugh’s fine books about IBM, and Arthur Norberg and Judy O’Neill’s excellent history of computing at DARPA. It is only in the last 10 years that scholars have begun to look at applications—a path that was pioneered by JoAnne Yates’ 1995 study of insurance-industry software. Thus, over time software history has evolved from narrow technical studies, through supply-side and economic studies, to broad studies of applications."
Computer science at its core as an academic field rewards both genders and their possible overlapping distribution of traits and behaviors. It's only when are talking about business and domain-specific applications that we still see an area where men seemed to thrive easily under specific conditions, not only because of sexual differences, but because software development and engineering has been built around men and benefited from men's preferences and traits. And these preferences differentials are everywhere and affect men and women in many other fields. And that may harm some women entering certain "bro environments", but I believe it is not "bro techie culture" or social learning that made computing a very male oriented field for a long time.
What programming 'was' then? Like someone was said it before here, it was, essentially, a small portion of glorified spreadsheet work and data entry, while the academic portion of computer science consisted of learning the early mathematical foundations of formal language, automata and logic, applied to technical and abstract problems, where women excels and could be as good as men on average. The industry changed from a safe and secure industry to a risky one that required 60 hours a week, on average. Alongside that, the academic portion of computer science, the computing curricula changed from being a strictly mathematical and academic to conform to industry and informal engineering practices. During the time when women had a huge amount of academic mathematical degrees, enrolling in Computer Science in great numbers, men started to dominate what we consider 'actual' programming, mostly without academic credentials. The amount of Computer Science enrollees is not indicative of those working in the field post ~1984. It also became a field for boys and men who abhorred school to still find success. With the "Wild West" atmosphere came a heavy streak of rebellion and anti-authoritarianism, novelty seeking and rule breaking in which you can see a microcosm of via the proliferation of Cyberpunk fiction.
TL,DR; academic computer science != actual software development
Not completely. But ample evidence suggests there's value in their responses.
You might not. But many people would, especially men.
Sexual diversity as obliquely interconnected dimensions
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