Wikipedia's Gender Gap Argumentative Essay

Wikipedia's Gender Gap
An analysis of the gender imbalance among Wikipedia contributors.
# 151944 | 1,265 words | 4 sources | APA | 2012 | CA
Published on Oct 28, 2012 in Computer and Technology (Internet) , Gender and Sexuality (General)

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This paper argues that in order for Wikipedia to cover all aspects of human knowledge with equal accuracy and comprehensiveness it needs to encourage diversity with articles from both men and women. The paper discusses how, since women tend to be less tech-centric than men and since the programmer-style editing of Wikipedia's HTML interface is quite difficult to run without any prior experience, the authors of the majority of articles are men. The paper also looks at the reasons why such a gender gap exists and why women are less inclined to contribute, as well as at the differences in communication style between both genders and the overall environment of Wikipedia.

From the Paper:

"A third reason that limits female contributors is the overall hostile environment on Wikipedia. Susan C. Herring argues that "[o]n 'talk' pages, where the process of article creation is hashed out, one's contributions are often challenged, and some contributors, anonymous and otherwise, use rude and haranguing language. Such environments are-if not outright intimidating-unappealing to many women" (Herring 2011:1). While there are a lot of friendly and enthusiastic helpful contributors on Wikipedia it can still be a fairly aggressive place. It is not pleasant especially when you are a new contributor to be abruptly or rudely be called to task for a mistake or get caught in an article argument where contributors spend more time insulting one another than working the problem out and compromising (Herring 2011). Additionally, most of the hostile comments made by anonymous users are held un-accountable. Such environments tend to be less desirable by women (Herring 2011). "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Cohen, Noam 2011 Define Gender Gap? Look Up Wikipedia's Contributor List. New York Times, January 30, 2011.
  • Lardinois, Frederic2008 Wikipedia Gets Grant to Help First-Time Authors. ReadWriteWeb, December 3, 2008., accessed July 18, 2012.
  • Wikipedia Editorial Study 011 Profiles: Not One Single Profile of Wikipedians. April 2011, accessed July 19, 2012.
  • Herring, Susan C. 2011 A Difference of Communication Styles.New York Times, February 4, 2011., accessed July 16, 2012.

Cite this Argumentative Essay:

APA Format

Wikipedia's Gender Gap (2012, October 28) Retrieved July 11, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Wikipedia's Gender Gap" 28 October 2012. Web. 11 July. 2020. <>