Gender, Social Interactions and Interests of Characters Illustrated in Scratch and Python Programming Books for Children

Shirley De Wit, Felienne Hermans, Marcus Specht, Efthimia Aivaloglou

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

From an early age, girls may opt out of Computer Science (CS) for not fitting the CS stereotypes of being male, asocial and technology-oriented. These stereotypes might be strengthened by children's books on programming, but little is known about this. Therefore, this paper explores the gender, social interactions and interests of characters illustrated in ten popular extracurricular Scratch and Python children's books. We found more masculine than feminine characters in all but one book. Furthermore, nearly half of the characters are illustrated alone, and 15% are interacting with computers & robots. Over two-thirds of the characters fit at least one stereotypical trait. With this paper, we aim to create awareness of stereotypes in CS books among creators, publishers and buyers. Making and using more inclusive CS materials will help close the gender gap.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSIGCSE 2024 - Proceedings of the 55th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Pages262-268
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9798400704239
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024
Event55th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2024 - Portland, United States
Duration: 20 Mar 202423 Mar 2024

Publication series

NameSIGCSE 2024 - Proceedings of the 55th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
Volume1

Conference

Conference55th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2024
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPortland
Period20/03/2423/03/24

Bibliographical note

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Keywords

  • books
  • gender
  • interests
  • programming
  • social interactions
  • stereotypes

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