Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Male Bias During Lectures

Physics World reports that there are fewer women physicists, and in senior positions, partly because of an unconscious bias.

Researchers trained four actors — two men, two women — to give a 10-minute physics lecture. Real physics classes watched the lecturers. Male and female students gave male lecturers higher ratings - regarding knowledge of the material and use of equipment - than female lecturers. Male students, in particular, overwhelmingly rated the male lecturers as superior.

If the bias does exist, it explains why women also generally receive lower wages and smaller start-up grants.

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