Analysis On A Scholarly Persuasive Computer Science Article

In 1999, Professor Gadalla published a scholarly article arguing that there has been a problem over the last two decades in particular regarding Computer Science’s appeal to women. While one might expect a heavy emphasis on pathos in most fields, however, this article contradicts that common motif in the scholarly branch of literature. This Is actually to be expected when writing about computer science by virtue of the fact that it is a very technical field that even writes its papers with completely different conventions. These papers are very logical, methodical, and rely on facts over fluff generally speaking. With Professor Gadalla’s essay, I noticed that she began by describing the emphasis on bringing women into this field during the early 1980s. Next, she points out that the percentage of university enrolled women focused on computer science goes from a 55% increase during the early 1970s to a similar, stagnant rate 23 years later. Arming her essay with further facts supporting the idea that women are becoming more and more rare in the field today, she then proceeds to raise the suggestion that women may not be treated equally to men going into the field of computer science. Next, she describes the most generally accepted theory for this phenomenon is the  “Mathematics avoidance” hypothesis. This idea states that women often avoid Computer Science because they know that the field involves more mathematics. Further strengthening her original point, Gadalla deconstructs this notion by citing a study done in the years 1994 and 1995 stating that women accounted for 40% of mathematics enrollment in college. The author rests her case here by stating that regardless of whatever the actual cause of this issue may be, it is with one hundred percent certainty not an issue of women wanting to avoid mathematics. Later on, Professor Gadalla points to the media as being a culprit regarding this unfortunate circumstance. She also describes gender roles as being part of the problem as well. In the end, her thesis primarily advocates for encouragement towards women entering these professions typically considered to be dominated by men. Gadalla also stresses that there are multiple catalysts to this issue, citing the problem of gender roles once more as well as the unequal pay and glass ceiling problem often observed when comparing the promotional opportunities of a man as compared to a woman of the corporate standing. What I have seen from this writer is very consistent with what I have seen in the previous scholarly article I analyzed in my blog prior to this. Both of them are very technical and methodical with what they say, relying almost exclusively on logos to support their arguments. While tailored toward those more familiar and further along in the field of computer science, Gadalla is very straightforward with what she is trying to say.  There is a very clear set of steps she utilizes in order to ultimately reach her conclusion, which stresses an imperative urgency toward bringing women back into the field.


Here is the source if anyone is interested:


One comment on “Analysis On A Scholarly Persuasive Computer Science Article

  1. Nice summary here, Karl.

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