Postcard from Carole: more research on gender issues in academia

8 12 2014

From Carole (making me homesick for ASAB):

Just to share a brilliant lecture I recently went to on gender and related issues in academia!

It was part of a series of annual events at the Bristol that focus on current research into gender-related topics, and presented this year by Profs Havi Carel & Richard Pettigrew (Department of Philosophy), who both talked about two psychological unconscious mechanisms involved in gender discrimination: ‘implicit bias’ and ‘stereotype threat’.

The former (IB) is, as we’ve learnt, a mental attitude that we – both men & women – unconsciously hold, yielding us assessing and interpreting actions and performances of others in accordance with attributes associated with their social groups… resulting e.g. in giving a less good evaluation of exactly the same CV when the applicant is a woman.

The latter (ST) is exclusively self-directed, and is about sabotaging your own performance to make it fit the stereotype… e.g., girls sat in a maths test clearly underperformed when their gender identity was made salient before the test, while they performed exactly as men when nothing was mentioned about gender identities.

.. and interestingly, went to the ASAB winter meeting in London ‘Individual in Groups‘ right on the next day. Pretty good too! … but quite crowded, so much that we had to sit directly on the ground… which, as my friend mentioned, was probably a bit less annoying for him than for me because of my dress… and funnily, on the v next talk, I immediately got totally lost as soon as the speaker began showing the maths equations underlying his model…!!! Gaaah, but well, if better than nothing, my friend told me that HE got totally lost, too 😉