Male Professors receive higher marks because… they’re men?

Good morning Diversity Journal Club!


Our next discussion will take place on Monday 23 February at 2pm EST! After tackling vaccine refusal and privilege, we now move on to student bias in teaching reviewsas if Monday mornings aren’t inspiring enough!

“In other words, students who thought they were being taught by women gave lower evaluation scores than students who thought they were being taught by men. It didn’t matter who was actually teaching them.”

I’ve uploaded the study to Google Drive, so let us know in the comments if you can’t access it. There’s also a quick discussion of the work and Amanda Marcotte’s post on it at Slate.

In addition, let’s talk about an excellent little page by Ben Schmidt to explore gendered language in teaching reviews. He used 14 million RateMyProfessor reviews to develop an interactive graphic that demonstrates how students used various language at different rates for men and woman (type in any word ya like and see what happens!)

“You can enter any other word (or two-word phrase) into the box below to see how it is split across gender and discipline: the x-axis gives how many times your term is used per million words of text (normalized against gender and field). You can also limit to just negative or positive reviews (based on the numeric ratings on the site). For some more background, see here.

Not all words have gender splits, but a surprising number do. Even things like pronouns are used quite differently by gender.”


Have thoughts on these studies and findings? Have your own experiences with bias in the classroom? How might such biases also manifest across race, class, or other stereotyped characteristics (that mean nothing for teaching ability)? Is there a reason people don’t feel comfortable coming out at Princeton? What happens to the statistics if you’re a black woman?


Join us Monday 23 February at 2pm EST!

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3 thoughts on “Male Professors receive higher marks because… they’re men?

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