Abstract Targetted 16–18 year olds in 1995 were compared to similar groups in 1992, 1989 and 1986. Reported use of computers, knowledge about IT and reasons for not studying computing were assessed. Reported use of computers in school had risen to a non gender differentiated high level. However, reported domestic use of computers remained highly gendered, with males retaining a higher level of reported use both of their own computers and of a friend's computer. Knowledge about IT concepts had increased over time, with the male advantage over females being retained but declining very gradually in absolute size. Analysis, both open ended and statistical, of responses to questions about choosing not to study computing indicated a considerable stability over time of a rather negative stereotype of the computer specialist. It is concluded that gender related changes over time in the U.K. are occurring, but at a slow rate.