DIVERSITY

How a subtle bias influences retention

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Science  18 Mar 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6279, pp. 1277-1278
DOI: 10.1126/science.351.6279.1277-f

Why do gender disparities in different science fields continue to persist? Grunspan et al. took a closer look at the social environment women experience in science classrooms. Students and instructors in three sections of the same undergraduate biology course were asked at multiple points during the semester to name the students they considered knowledgeable about course content. After controlling for differences in performance and outspokenness, females nominated their male and female peers equitably, whereas male students received more recognition from other males than did their female classmates. Further analysis showed that gender bias among male students was 19 times stronger than among females. The favoring of males by their peers may play a role in the retention of women in science.

PLOS One 10.1371/journal.pone.0148405 (2016)

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