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Men less likely to agree with gender bias in science

Men less likely to agree with gender bias in science
Highlights

A new research has found that men are less likely to agree with scientific evidence of gender bias in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines than women. Previous research had revealed that gender biases limit the opportunities for women within STEM disciplines.

A new research has found that men are less likely to agree with scientific evidence of gender bias in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines than women. Previous research had revealed that gender biases limit the opportunities for women within STEM disciplines.

"It is critical to understand how people react to evidence of bias in order to implement successful interventions designed to decrease it, particularly given mounting evidence that non-stigmatised group members (white men) may respond differently than other individuals," the authors noted. For the study, researchers Corinne Moss-Racusin, Aneta Molenda and Charlotte Cramer analysed 831 public comments made on three online news articles from the New York Times, Discover Magazine Blog and the IFL Science blog.

They found that men were more likely to respond negatively to these articles than women. "Only 9.5 per cent of the comments argued that sexism does not exist and 68 per cent of these commenters were men," the authors said. While 67.4 per cent of the comments agreed that gender bias exists, of these 29 per cent were men. The findings showed that 22 per cent of all of the comments justified the existence of gender bias. Of these comments, between 79 per cent and 88 per cent were made by men.

It also found that 59.8 per cent justified gender bias using biological explanations, 29.6 per cent used non-biological explanations and 10.6 per cent justified gender bias, stating that women perpetrate it by discriminating against other women. Almost 100 per cent of the comments expressing gratitude for the study were made by women. The researchers also studied sexist remarks made by men and women in the comments.

"Seven per cent of all of the comments included sexist remarks. Of these, 76.8 per cent were against women and 23.2 per cent were against men," they found. Of the sexist remarks made against women, 95 per cent were made by men, concluded the study that appeared in the journal Psychology of Women Quarterly.

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