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From the College of Natural Sciences
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Gender Bias Common in STEM Classrooms

Gender Bias Common in STEM Classrooms

​Male biology students tended to have 19 times more gender bias when nominating the smartest person in the class as opposed to female students, according to recent research done jointly by Sarah Eddy of  the Texas Institute for Discovery Education in Science (TIDES) and Dan Grunspan of the University of Washington. 

​The study had biology undergraduates rate their peers and determine who was the smartest in the classes of between 200 and 800 students, and then compared the results to the performance of the students. Even when corrected for differences in performance between male and females, males tended to give other male students a .77 GPA point 'lead' over females, while females gave their gender peers only a .04 GPA  lead, meaning females had to preform almost a whole letter grade better to get equal recognition from their peers. 

Eddy told the Atlantic that there is some hope, especially because females did not exhibit biases against their gender peers, something which has been observed before. The Daily Texan reports that groups such as Women in Mathematics can help create a support system which helps women overcome the gender biases in STEM education. However, the study demonstrates how pressing the issue of implicit bias is against women in STEM, even among the college-aged population.

To read the Atlantic piece and other media coverage of this study click on the links below:

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Tuesday, 07 February 2023

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