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Don’t conflate interest in computer science with excessive amounts of time spent coding. This can discourage students who feel like they’re not into computer science because they don’t obsess over it.

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  • In Unlocking the Clubhouse, a high school computer science teacher argues that “staying up all night doing something is a sign of single-mindedness and possibly immaturity as well as love for the subject.” She goes on to emphasize: “If you are looking for this type of obsessive behavior, then you are looking for a typically young, male behavior. While some girls will exhibit it, most won’t. But it doesn’t mean they don’t love computer science!”.
  • Men are often viewed as being hyper-focused on their computers, where women have more varied interests. However, a teacher notes that “it is important to note that it is not only women who resist a myopic focus on computers. Some men resist a narrow orientation but do not question their ability because their gender has not rendered them suspect.” (75)
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Unlocking the Clubhouse: Women in Computing by Jane Margolis and Allan Fisher, from Chapter 4: Geek Mythology