I think I’ve leave this one to speak for itself too.
Write-up (and good unpicking) from feministphilosophers:
A new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports that men and women are not equally receptive to experimental evidence of gender bias in STEM settings. Ian Handley and colleagues reported the results of three experiments. In the first and second experiment, men and women read an actual article abstract from a peer-reviewed scientific journal, which was accompanied by the article’s publication information and the first author’s full name. In the first experiment, participants were M-Turk workers; in the second, they were male and female STEM and non-STEM faculty. The abstract used in experiments 1&2 was from Corinne Moss-Racusin and colleagues’ (2012) PNAS article reporting gender bias in science faculty’s hiring decisions. In the first experiment of the new Handley study, men were significantly more likely than women to evaluate the abstract negatively. In the second experiment, male faculty in STEM departments displayed the same pattern; they evaluated the Moss-Racusin et al. (2012) abstract more negatively compared with female faculty in STEM departments. Amongst non-STEM faculty, men and women gave comparable evaluations. Finally, in the third experiment, Handley and colleagues replicated the main effect using a different abstract (from Knobloch-Westerwick et al. (2013)), which reports gender bias in reviews of scientific conference submissions. However, when the authors altered the abstract to report no gender bias, they found that women evaluated it more negatively than men.
This study has some obvious implications. The authors focus on the worry that no amount of evidence attesting to pervasive gender biases will be sufficient to convince skeptics, if gender biases are affecting skeptics’ assessments of that evidence.* They also discuss potential mechanisms driving these effects, in particular the idea that male faculty in STEM departments might find evidence of gender bias (perhaps implicitly) threatening (in accord with “Social Identity Theory”). More research on this is clearly needed.
© and source/ rest: feministphilosophers.
And the study’s abstract: Handley, I., Brown, E., Moss-Racusin, C. and Smith, J. (2015). Quality of evidence revealing subtle gender biases in science is in the eye of the beholder. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, p.201510649.
Scientists are trained to evaluate and interpret evidence without bias or subjectivity. Thus, growing evidence revealing a gender bias against women—or favoring men—within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) settings is provocative and raises questions about the extent to which gender bias may contribute to women’s underrepresentation within STEM fields. To the extent that research illustrating gender bias in STEM is viewed as convincing, the culture of science can begin to address the bias. However, are men and women equally receptive to this type of experimental evidence? This question was tested with three randomized, double-blind experiments—two involving samples from the general public (n = 205 and 303, respectively) and one involving a sample of university STEM and non-STEM faculty (n = 205). In all experiments, participants read an actual journal abstract reporting gender bias in a STEM context (or an altered abstract reporting no gender bias in experiment 3) and evaluated the overall quality of the research. Results across experiments showed that men evaluate the gender-bias research less favorably than women, and, of concern, this gender difference was especially prominent among STEM faculty (experiment 2). These results suggest a relative reluctance among men, especially faculty men within STEM, to accept evidence of gender biases in STEM. This finding is problematic because broadening the participation of underrepresented people in STEM, including women, necessarily requires a widespread willingness (particularly by those in the majority) to acknowledge that bias exists before transformation is possible.
(Excerpt etc. first posted on. Orig. attribution above.)