Monday, January 31, 2011

Maybe they just have better things to do.

Considering that it's kind of like a Guinness Book of World Records for grownups, I guess I'm not surprised that less than 15 percent of Wikipedia's contributors are female.

I've dotted an i or two over there but that's it; I wish the survey had asked the respondents if they were employed!


Patrick Milne said...

I get the urge to correct grammar in a lot of those posts. Still, I would stay on that site for hours if I could.

Alex Flinn said...

I admit to doing a minimalist Wikipedia article about MYSELF years ago, because that seems to be the only site kids check for reports anymore (I make my daughters check out books for their papers, even if the teacher doesn't require it, and their reports are always so much better than everyone else's). After I made the page, other people improved upon it. I check once in a while to make sure it's still accurate. Otherwise, I've never known anyone who wrote an article.

kellybarnhill said...

I was pretty surprised at that statistic, actually. I know two people who are regular Wikipedia editors, both of whom are women.

However, it does ring true with another experience: back in my classroom teaching days, and even now when I'm brought in as an ad-hock writer-in-the-schools, boys have been the ones to raise their hands. Always. If I want to have gender balance in the discussion, I have to actually solicit the girls to give their opinions - while the boys are nearly levitating out of their chairs from over-enthusiastic hand raising.

Not really sure what to make of it, but I'll tell you what, this phenomenon of female reluctance to add their voice and expertise to the conversation - it starts young.

Beth said...

While the men are "working" on their Wikipedia entries it's a safe bet that the women are working on helping the kids with their homework, making supper, giving baths and putting them to bed. The third shift is still a reality.

Roger Sutton said...

I think men (taken as a group) are more interested in being "experts" than are women (ditto). But I look at the work involved in putting a Wikipedia article together properly and think, "what's in it for me?" If I were the kind of person who enjoyed amassing information like a stamp collection, I guess the labor would be its own reward, though. I also think people like being part of the Wikipedia community, if the action on the many "Talk" pages is an indication. There are some pretty heated debates!

Melinda said...

I edited an article on the massasauga rattlesnake when I saw that somebody had written, "The snake eats mice, frogs, and small children." Honestly!

But other than that, Beth's right -- my husband's doing admin work on a music database site and I'm sitting on my kid to get her to do the homework. What gives?!