Gender Bias

         The vast variety of scientific disciplines, for the most part, are biased positively towards males. In the article by Ahna Skop, “The Subtle Ways Gender Gaps Persist in Science”, it is clear that documenting why these biases exist is not going to be an easy task. Skop quotes economist, Michele Pezzoni, regarding the complexity of determining wether the gender bias in scientific disciplines still exists. “Everybody finds something. But trying to find an explanation for that is much more difficult,” (Pezzoni). Although society would like to say that there is no gender bias in science, the research provided by Skop shows that there are gender differences in science, however attributing this to gender bias would not be possible. 
       The information provided from the research on gender bias shows that men are still being favored in certain situations. An example from the article that illustrates this bias, is the scenario where a college professor has to choose an individual to mentor. Over 6,500 college professors were involved in this study, and the majority chose to give mentorship to white males. The article continues to provide example after example where men are being favored, wether it be in publishing, or receiving a tenure-track position job. With each example, the researchers attempt to explain why these biases against women exist, but ultimately, correlation does not mean causation and concluding anything from these studies is going to be very difficult due to the many confounding variables not taken into account. At the end of the article Skop quotes David Miller, a doctor student of psychology at North Western University, that states the more productive question to ask is not wether bias exists but when does it exists? I couldn’t agree more with this statement because trying to determine the explantation behind certain biases is a hopeless task. But explaining why certain biases occur in a certain situation may provide a more stable and isolated conclusion. In the article it also shows that there has been a decline in female activity in the disciplines of science, however attributing this to certain biases can create a much more complex problem. Skop quotes, Cassidy Sugimoto, a researcher of gender differences in science, “It’s been seen as either there’s pervasive bias against women that is everywhere, or that academic science isn’t sexist. But there’s a whole lot of interesting nuance in between” (Sugimoto). This quote explains perfectly whether there is bias in science or not, it can be looked at either way, attributing the gender disparities to an exact bias can not be done due to confounding explanations.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *