Student Gender Bias in College Class Selection
22 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2020
Date Written: June 1, 2020
The existing literature on instructor gender preferences by students has a glaring gap. Namely, when college students are faced with the real-life decision of choosing classes, does the gender of the instructor influence their decision? This research is the first to address this question. Enrollment data from 581 class sections at a regional university in the United States was analyzed. The main findings of this research show that there is a significant bias in favor of male instructors. Even more troubling is the finding that this male preference bias is more pronounced in sophomore classes than freshman classes. This elicits discussion of how gender disparities in tenured positions may perpetuate harmful stereotypes regarding gender and teaching ability. Furthermore, findings on math classes call into question some of the literature on gender bias and therefore point to the need for replication. The paper concludes by assessing the efficacy of potential solutions.
Keywords: gender bias, sexism, college instructors, professors, college enrollment, Same gender preference, Syllabus, Student evaluations,
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