Closing the Gender Gap by Training using Action Video Games

J. Feng and I. Spence (Canada)


Educational games, gender, ICT, cognitive abilities, selective attention, and training


While women comprise over 50 percent of the population, their representation in information and communication technology (ICT) is typically less than 25 percent. This under-representation is a global problem and the percentages are much lower in some countries. Traditional explanations have cited gender differences in early education, socialization, cultural factors, and gender discrimination. Various remedial measures have been attempted by governments and educational institutions, without much success. We propose a fresh approach that focuses on individual differences in basic cognitive abilities that are relevant to tasks in ICT. Such differences may be reduced by appropriate training involving play with action video games.

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