Undergraduate Women in Computer Science: Experience, Motivation and Culture is a report on a study of women in computer science at Carnegie Mellon. While it is only a preliminary report it strikes me as balanced and interesting. Their initial findings include some reflections on what got men and women into CS – a number of male students talked about the computer as a toy or game that they got caught up playing with in an undirected way. Female students, by contrast commented on what they wanted to do with computing.
Here is a quote from the report:
The male narratives are filled with descriptions of the computer itself as an alluring object. The computer is the ultimate toy and they get “hooked.”