Thesis Title

Gender Bias in Teacher Evaluations

Date of Graduation

Spring 2006

Degree

Master of Science in Psychology

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Donn Kaiser

Keywords

gender, teacher evaluations, masculinity, femininity, sexism

Subject Categories

Psychology

Abstract

This study investigated the relationship between gender identity and students' ratings of a male or female professor. After completing the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI), the Personal Attributes Questionnaire (PAQ) and a measure of sexism (Ambivalent Sexism Inventory), 159 students (54 males and 105 females) rated a description of a fictitious professor which varied only by gender (male, female, no mention). Evaluations of the professors using a semantic differential scale and a departmental evaluation form indicated that the students low in BSRI and PAQ femininity rated the female professor more positively. Students high in benevolent sexism rated female professors higher on evaluation question 4, which addressed fairness in the determination of grades. A significant interaction as found between the rating of the female professor and gender identity of the student. Those students with higher femininity rated the female professor lower. The rating of the male professor did not show this interaction. Implications for the study of bias in instructor evaluations are discussed.

Copyright

© Stephanie M. Davenport

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Dissertation/Thesis

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