Examining the "male, antisocial" stereotype of high computer users

Gareth Schott, Neil Selwyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


The popular stereotype of the frequent computer user persists to be one of a male, socially inadequate and isolated individual - a perception which has been found to cause many students to avoid coming into contact with information and communications technology (ICT), both inside and outside of school. This article reports on a study examining the gender and social competency of both frequent and infrequent computer-using students in Year 12 (n = 117). The results suggest that students who are highly oriented toward ICT are just as likely to be female as they are male and are no less sociable, popular, or self-assured than their non-ICT using peers. These data are then contrasted with interview data from the "high" and "low" using students which suggest that negative stereotyping of the computer-using student persists - although primarily among students not engaging with ICT in school. The article postulates that the vast increases in ICT use in schools over the last ten years has created a more accessible "computer culture" to which increasing numbers of students are now subscribing; although teachers need to be aware of the persistence of the male, anti-social stereotype within elements of the student body.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-303
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Educational Computing Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2000
Externally publishedYes

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