Assessing Men’s Proclivity to Recognizing Subtle Gender Bias Against Women in STEM – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

Assessing Men’s Proclivity to Recognizing Subtle Gender Bias Against Women in STEM

Isabella Gorsd


Pronouns: she/her/hers

Research Mentor(s): Desiree Aleibar, PhD Student
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Psychology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 6 (4pm-4:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 16
Presenter: 7

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Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) frequently encounter gender bias (e.g., questioning of their STEM ability, assignment to secretarial roles). Given the subtle and ambiguous nature of contemporary sexism, people vary in their likelihood of recognizing subtly sexist interactions. Past research demonstrates that women are more sensitive to gender bias and more readily recognize it when it occurs. However, there remains a dearth of research related to men’s experiences in witnessing bias. In the present research, we ask: (1) what are the individual difference measures that contribute to men’s proclivity in recognizing subtle gender bias, (2) what are the affective consequences of recognizing subtle gender bias during group tasks, and (3) how do men’s affective states after witnessing subtle gender bias influence their desire to work with women in mixed-gendered groups? STEM identified men (N=275) read a fake transcript depicting a conversation between 3 STEM identified college students (1 woman, 2 men). Participants were exposed to one of two transcripts in which a man either (a) demonstrates subtle gender bias against a woman or (b) engages in a neutral interaction with a woman. After reading the transcript, participants completed measures related to their affect (state and collective), their impressions of the interaction (open and closed ended), and behavioral measures related to the students in the transcript. Open ended responses were coded to determine recognition of bias. Findings and implications for this work are discussed.

Authors: Isabella Gorsd, Desiree Aleibar, Denise Sekaquaptwea
Research Method: Survey Research

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