Women on School Boards Are Less Likely to Speak Publicly Than Their Male Peers

SilentSexA new study by researchers at Princeton University in New Jersey and Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, finds that women who are elected to school board positions across the United States are less likely than their male counterparts to speak during public sessions.

Researchers analyzed the transcripts of school board meetings in 20 different states. Here are some of the key findings:

* The data showed that women only spoke as often as their make counterparts when women held 60 percent or more of the seats on the board.

* When women were outnumbered on school board, they used only 72 percent of their fair share of speaking opportunities.

* On some of the school boards surveyed, women spoke or made motions at less than half the rate of their male counterparts.

The survey, along with several laboratory experiments involving gender participation rates and group dynamics, are detailed in a new book, The Silent Sex: Gender, Deliberation, and Institutions (Princeton University Press, 2014 ) by Christopher F. Karpowitz, an associate professor of political scientist at Brigham Young University and Tali Mendelberg, a professor politics at Princeton University.

MendelbergProfessor Mendelberg has taught at Princeton since 1994 and was promoted to full professor in 2013. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, where she majored in psychology. Dr. Mendelberg earned a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Michigan. She is the author of The Race Card: Campaign Strategy, Implicit Messages, and the Norm of Equality
(Princeton University Press, 2001).


Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study


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