By NANCY RYERSON
Teachers at American colleges did not think women were as qualified to work in science jobs as men, in a new study from Yale University. This study is only the most recent of many reports that show a bias against women in the sciences.
The study was simple: both male and female professors were given a resume from a recent college graduate applying for a job in a laboratory. Some professors were given resumes from a fictional person named “Jennifer” and others from a fictional person named “John.” The resumes were the same in every other way.
On average, professors gave John a score of 4 on a scale of 1 to 7 and Jennifer a 3.3 on that scale, with 7 being the highest. John was seen as someone the professors would be more interested in hiring. They would also offer John $3,820 more a year for the job than they would Jennifer.
In the past, studies were done on whether men were inherently (naturally) better at math and science than women. Those studies discovered that while men and women do the same on math tests, women tend to feel less confident about math.
“Boys think they are better [at mathematical tests] even though they performed the same as girls on the test,” said speaker Shelley Correll, a sociology professor at Stanford, to The Feminist Press. Both boys and girls appear to carry those beliefs into adulthood.
Activists believe that schools should make a stronger effort to engage girls in math and science classes and make math departments in colleges more welcoming to women.