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The Segregation Of Gender: Digital Divide

1784 words - 7 pages

In today's society, the factor of segregation is no longer based on the discrimination of race, but rather the knowledge of digital capabilities. The development of technology and its advancement separates many individuals through its availability. The term “digital divide” represents the increase in the gap between those who have technology readily available to them and those who do not have access to computers and Internet usage. The lack of access to these technologies and the lack of understanding the digital capabilities that change daily, reflects this growth. Understanding the increase in the gap must be analyzed from factors that may cause a hindrance in being able to progress along with technology. With its development, the focus has shifted from the issue of access to determining its targeted audience. While seeking equality, the digital divide is centralized around a specific gender and it poses a threat to the future of those individuals who are not receiving technology’s full benefit.
Fundamentally, the growth of the digital divide can be examined under its influence on individuals from adolescence to adulthood, which has been nourished and developed in society. Studies have been conducted to identify how greatly the digital divide affects people in a more generalized and specific area of study. Researchers Joel Cooper and Kimberlee Weaver focused on the social psychology of the use of technology based upon gender in their book, Gender and Computers: Understanding the Digital Divide that makes a great reference point for information on the study of gender and technology. The examinations of the digital divide based on gender focuses on the stereotypes and the attributions to computer attitudes. In the early ages of adolescence, the idea that each gender has a specific role and certain actions being considered “normal” are instilled into these individuals. Cooper and Weaver use the term “psychological gender” to identify those children who will learn that there are “roles, norms, and obligations” regardless of understanding the significance of their physical differences (33). Jan A.G.M van Dijk, a professor of sociology and computer science, emphasizes how individuals are taught to believe that some objects, technologies, and even language is appropriate under the idea of gender specification. The idea that the use of technology and its devices is predominately male based has been instilled into the minds of individuals and are present in their upbringing. In the text, The Deepening Divide: Inequality in the Information Society, this identification of this idea starts with the objects of play during adolescence by stating,
Gender differences in the appropriation of technology start very early in life. Little boys are the first to pick up technical toys and devices, passing the little girls, most often their sisters and small female neighbors or friends. These girls leave the operation to the boys, perhaps at first because the...

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2001 words - 8 pages ://www.gse.harvard.edu/~wit/exploring/index.htm “Recent Reports on the Digital Divide”. (2002). The George Lucus Educational Foundation [Electronic Version]. “Resolution of the Gender Divide”. Retrieved April 27, 2005, from Academic Search/EBSOC database. Revenaugh, M., (2000). Can the Gender Gap loosen the Divide? Retrieved April 29, 2005, from Academic Search/EBSOC database. “The Real Digital Divide” (The Economist). (2005). The US Edition: The Economist Newspaper Ltd.