The Effect of Gender Stereotyping on Undergraduate Student Ratings of Faculty Teaching Effectiveness
We created a gender bias survey to be used with first-year students. Items were taken from Liben and Bigler’s (2002) OAT scales, which include subscales measuring attitudes about appropriate occupations (O), activities (A), and traits (T) for women and men. Our survey included 24 items, 8 to assess each of the three subscales (OAT). Of the 8 items for each subscale, 3 were stereotypically feminine, 3 were stereotypically masculine, and 2 were neutral. Respondents indicate on 7-point scales whether men or women should do particular jobs and activities and have particular traits.
We conducted an anonymous on-line survey of first-year students at two colleges in the United States. At one college, we received 405 responses out of 632 invitations, or a 64.1% response rate. At the other college, we received 295 complete responses, representing 53.8% of first-year students.
Results show strong evidence of gender bias among incoming students that is consistent across the colleges and statistically significant at the 1% level on most subscales. Moreover, the bias occurred among women and men in attitudes toward occupations, activities, and traits. In the combined sample across colleges, men reported stronger gender bias than women at the 1% level regarding stereotypically masculine occupations, activities, and traits and stereotypically feminine activities. This gender bias is related to the lower effectiveness ratings that women faculty in STEM receive from their students. Therefore, there is a need among first-year undergraduates for increased awareness of bias.