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Work By Female Scientists Gets Judged More Harshly: Study
Date:4/19/2013

pants were reading abstracts of 150 words or so and rating their quality," Knobloch-Westerwick said. "The author names were not displayed prominently and the grad students probably barely glanced at them -- but still they had this effect."

The study also revealed that topics played a role in how participants viewed the research summaries. Topics traditionally associated with men, such as political communication, computers, and news and journalism, were rated more highly when written by men.

The participants also were asked if they would like to discuss research and collaborate with one of the study's authors. The studies on traditionally "male" topics that were written by men garnered more interest. Similarly, female authors had more collaboration interest if their work involved stereotypically "female" topics (such as children, parenting and body image).

The researchers said the findings demonstrate that it may be more difficult for women to succeed in academic science. The preference for male authors, they suggested, is partly due to conservative gender norms.

"There's still a stereotype in our society that science is a more appropriate career for men than it is for women," Knobloch-Westerwick said. "Even among young graduate students -- the faculty of tomorrow -- such stereotypes are still alive."

More information

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provides more information on sex-based discrimination.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Ohio State University, news release, April 3, 2013


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