Genderization of Technology Among Norwegian Engineering Students

TitleGenderization of Technology Among Norwegian Engineering Students
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1987
AuthorsSørensen, K. H., and A-J. Berg
Secondary TitleActa Sociologica

This paper discusses the phenomenon of genderized technology. A model of genderized technology is outlined, identifying mechanisms of gen derization at three levels: institutional, symbolic, and characteristics of research work. Usmg survey material from Norwegian engineering students, it is shown that technology is genderized through all three sets of mechanisms. Although an increasing number of women study engineering, there is an emerging gender division in the choice of field and speciality The paper argues that this division partly is related to the phenomenon of gender-typing of artefacts. Students perceive some artefacts as ’masculine’, others as ’feminine’ or ’neutral’. This symbolic aspect of technology is produced by the appearance of the artefact and the sex of the stereotypical user. Finally, the paper explores students’ views on ideal characteristics of technological researchers. It is found that ’female’ characteristics are valued more than masculine, and that the difference between male and female students in this respect is very small.