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Girls Coming to Tech!

Un libro in lingua di Bix Amy Sue edito da Mit Pr, 2014

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Engineering education in the United States was long regarded as masculine territory.For decades, women who studied or worked in engineering were popularly perceived as oddities,outcasts, unfeminine (or inappropriately feminine in a male world). In Girls Coming toTech!, Amy Bix tells the story of how women gained entrance to the traditionally malefield of engineering in American higher education.

As Bix explains, a few womenbreached the gender-reinforced boundaries of engineering education before World War II. During WorldWar II, government, employers, and colleges actively recruited women to train as engineering aides,channeling them directly into defense work. These wartime training programs set the stage for moreengineering schools to open their doors to women. Bix offers three detailed case studies of postwarengineering coeducation. Georgia Tech admitted women in 1952 to avoid a court case, over objectionsby traditionalists. In 1968, Caltech male students argued that nerds needed a civilizing femalepresence. At MIT, which had admitted women since the 1870s but treated them as a minor afterthought,feminist-era activists pushed the school to welcome more women and take their talentseriously.

In the 1950s, women made up less than one percent of students inAmerican engineering programs; in 2010 and 2011, women earned 18.4% of bachelor's degrees, 22.6% ofmaster's degrees, and 21.8% of doctorates in engineering. Bix's account shows why these gains werehard won.

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