That U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and elsewhere are unpopular around the world is not entirely surprising. In only three countries do a majority support those actions: Israel, the U.S., and Kenya. What surprised researchers was the massive gender gap. For example, in Japan, 41% of men approved of the strikes compared to 10% of women.
As an expert in what she refers to as “basically, a flying robot,” Cummings wasn’t surprised by the lack of support for targeted strikes, but she was surprised by the gender chasm. drone strikes
“For a long time, women have been far more vocal against weapons in general and military actions in general,” she says. “So I don’t think that it’s a surprise necessarily that women took a more negative viewpoint. But the spread between the data, it is curious. One of the questions I have is, is this the technology? Is this where we start to see technology starting to drive the difference between the genders? I hate the stereotype that women are not technologists, but then you see data like this, and I have to wonder, what is driving this?”