Do Men and Women College Students Interact Differently With Faculty?

cohen_emmaA new study by Emma D. Cohen, a doctoral student in sociology at Indiana University in Bloomington, finds that men and women college students interact differently with faculty members. She found that women look to their instructors to guide them through course requirements and to help them plan future careers, but men may be more likely to see faculty not just as guides but as mentors and colleagues.

Cohen found that “women discuss grades and assignments and career plans with faculty significantly more frequently than men. Men discuss ideas from readings and courses with faculty outside of class and work with faculty on activities other than coursework – for example, committees and orientation – significantly more frequently than women.”

“It is possible that due to these differences in interaction style, men may be more likely to develop stronger relationships with their instructors. This is important because research suggests that when students have strong relationships with faculty, they are often inspired to take up new courses of study and expand their career goals, including deciding to pursue careers in academia,” Cohen added.

The study is entitled “Academic Engagement in College: Gendered Styles of Student-Faculty Interaction.” Cohen is a 2009 graduate of Washington University in St. Louis. She holds a master’s degree in sociology from Indiana University.

Filed Under: Research/Study


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply