New technology is a key part of Sheffield women's discourse about their lives as women, just as gender is an important dimension of computer studies professors' worries regarding the future of the field. Changing conceptions of gender are a prime example of the correlation between computing and change in symboling. Talk about computing contains significant gender ambiguities and is a primary dimension of the problems associated with developing a politics of computing. The term "gender" refers to the differences in perception, action, and experience associated with being female and male. (The term has migrated into social analysis from linguistics, where it refers to parts of speech—e.g., the gender of a German noun determines how its plural is formed, etc.) "Sex" has been replaced by "gender," as in "gender role" versus "sex role," because use of gender underlines how these differences are primarily social constructs rather than essential, biological differences. "Gender" encapsulates the dominant message of recent cross cultural studies (e.g., Reiter 1975).