Gender Grouping: Effects on Technology Attitudes, Perceptions, and Uses
Connie Bain, Vestavia Hills City Schools, Alabama
Margaret L. Rice, The University of Alabama
Paper presented at the annual National Educational Computing Conference, June 24-27, 2007, Atlanta, GA
Gender Grouping and Technology 1
Brain and gender research conducted and collected at the Gurian Institute indicates that
differences in male and female brains impact the way males and females use technology. Girls
are more comfortable using computers to instant message friends, but less comfortable than
males with technology equipment (Gurian & Stevens, 2004; Wolters, 1989). The role of gender
in learning has been confirmed with the brain imaging technologies of the positron emission
tomography (PET) and MRI, which show significant structural and functional differences
between female and male brains that impact learning (Gurian & Stevens, 2004). According to
Gurian and Stevens, differences in female and male brains are found throughout the world.
Females tend to have better language skills, enjoy reading and writing, generally meaning better
grades, and they are relatively quiet in class. Males tend to have better math skills, but weaker
language skills than females, meaning males usually do not enjoy reading and writing as much as
females. Males tend to make lower grades, are typically more rowdy in class, like to move
around more, and talk louder (Gurian, Henley, & Trueman, 2001). Nunley (2003) cautions
readers that physical gender does not always determine brain hemisphere dominance.
Gender Class Research
When President Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001(NCLB Act),
elementary and secondary schools were reauthorized to provide same gender classes (U. S.
Department of Education, 2002a). Until the NCLB Act, single gender classes had been banned
by Title IX, which prohibited sexual discrimination in schools that received federal funding