Science Faculty Show a Bias Favoring Male Students

A new study by a group of scholars at Yale University finds that science faculty possess subtle biases that favor male students.

Science faculty at research-intensive universities were given job applicant materials for a student applying for a laboratory manager position. All participating faculty received identical applicant materials. But the applicants were randomly assigned either a male or female name. The faculty members tended to rate the male applicants as significantly more competent and hireable than female applicants with an identical resume. Applicants with a male name also were projected to receive a higher starting salary than applicants with female names. Both men and women faculty members tended to rate male applicants higher than female applicants.

The authors of the study conclude, “To the extent that faculty gender bias impedes women’s full participation in science, it may undercut not only academic meritocracy, but also the expansion of the scientific workforce needed for the next decade’s advancement of national competitiveness.”

The paper, “Science Faculty’s Subtle Gender Biases Favor Male Students,” was published in advance of print on the website of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Lead author Corinne Moss-Racusin is a postdoctoral associate in biology and psychology at Yale University. She is a graduate of New York University and holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in social psychology from Rutgers University.

Filed Under: DiscriminationResearch/StudySTEM Fields


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply