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RESEARCH AND THEORY METHODS - Essay Example

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Running Head: GENDER BIAS Examining Graduate Student’s Perception of Gender Bias [Name] [University] Title: Examining Graduate Student’s Perception of Gender Bias Introduction Gender bias has been recognised as a ubiquitous but subtle inequity in colleges and universities…
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RESEARCH AND THEORY METHODS

In addition, the literature argues that the nature of gender bias changes as women and men mature from elementary school children through adolescence, to college undergraduate and graduate students (Kelley & Parsons, 2000) Given that men and women participate in gender bias behaviours, research provides limited qualitative insight to explain why men and women accept such behaviours in a classroom environment (Fritschner, 2000). This paper compares the perceptions of male and female graduate students regarding the influence of gender in the classroom. Once gender influences are better understood, women and men may also have the opportunity to improve their understanding of each other. Literature Review The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 outlawed discrimination based on several characteristics, including gender. However, long­standing attitudes, traditions, and practices continued to subtly subjugate minority groups based on race, gender, ethnicity, age, and sexual orientation. As noted by Haslett and Lipman (1997), "As overt, visible discrimination was challenged in the 1960s and 1970s, it became replaced by subtle and covert discrimination" (p. 36). Beginning in the early 1980s, popular research by Sadker and Sadker (1985), Hall and Sandler (1982), and others explored subtle mechanisms that marginalised women in the classroom. As defined by Mary Rowe (1977), gender bias produces "micro inequities" reflecting "everyday interactions in which individuals are often treated differently because of their gender" (Sandler, Silverberg, and Hall, 1996, p.1 0). Haslett and Lipman (1997) observed: Micro inequities are particularly ubiquitous because in each instance the harm seems too small to bother with. In the aggregate, however, they constitute a serious barrier to productivity, advancement, and inclusion. Micro inequities are particularly difficult to respond to because of the face issues involved as well as the seeming "smallness" of each single instance. (p. 38) As summarised by Fassinger (1995), research efforts produce conflicting opinions. For example, Hall and Sandler's widely referenced 1982 report provided anecdotal documentation of gender bias in academia, concluding that gender bias created a "chilly climate" for women in colleges and universities. However, Howard and Henney (1998) dispute the existence of a chilly climate. While Young (2001) explores biases that have an adverse impact on boys, most gender bias research examines the marginalising behaviours committed by men against women. However, gender bias includes more than men marginalising women's efforts. Haslett and Lipman (1997) observed that "women may discriminate against other women through their reluctance to support other women. And women may discriminate against themselves through limiting their own aspirations or an unwillingness to take risks" (pp. 35-36). King (1998) found that women unconsciously favor academic papers based on the assumption that the paper was written by a man. Research on gender bias provides a rich assortment of quantitative and anecdotal investigations into the nature and impact of gender bias in academia. As examples, Karp and Yoels (1976) quantified classroom participation among undergraduate and graduate students. Hall and Sandler's chilly classroom reports (Hall & Sandler, 1982) were based primarily on anecdotal research. Jamison (1999) evaluated interviews with more than 340 ... Read More
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