Confronting Math Stereotypes in the Classroom: Its Effect on Female College Students’ Sexism and Perceptions of Confronters

Confronting Math Stereotypes in the Classroom: Its Effect on Female College Students’ Sexism... Women often face sexism and stereotypes about their academic ability, and this makes it important to examine the effects of confronting sexism in the college classroom. The current research consisted of 2 studies of how witnessing a confrontation of a sexist stereotype in the classroom affects female students’ perceptions of the confronters and self-reported sexism. The samples consisted of female students from a public college in the Northeastern U.S. who provided their perceptions of teachers described in vignettes as either confronting or not confronting a student’s stereotype of women as unskilled at math. In Study 1 (N = 48) perceptions of the teacher were more positive when confronting the stereotype, and students’ self-reported sexism was reduced when the teacher confronted rather than ignored the stereotype. Study 2 (N = 56) compared the effects of a teacher versus a student confrontation of the same stereotype. Participants perceived the teacher and student more positively when they confronted rather than ignored the stereotype. However, the source of the confrontation yielded no differences in sexism. These results suggest that students want their teachers to respond to bias in the classroom and that teachers should respond to sexist incidents in order to reduce the level of sexism among their students. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Confronting Math Stereotypes in the Classroom: Its Effect on Female College Students’ Sexism and Perceptions of Confronters

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-013-0287-y
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Women often face sexism and stereotypes about their academic ability, and this makes it important to examine the effects of confronting sexism in the college classroom. The current research consisted of 2 studies of how witnessing a confrontation of a sexist stereotype in the classroom affects female students’ perceptions of the confronters and self-reported sexism. The samples consisted of female students from a public college in the Northeastern U.S. who provided their perceptions of teachers described in vignettes as either confronting or not confronting a student’s stereotype of women as unskilled at math. In Study 1 (N = 48) perceptions of the teacher were more positive when confronting the stereotype, and students’ self-reported sexism was reduced when the teacher confronted rather than ignored the stereotype. Study 2 (N = 56) compared the effects of a teacher versus a student confrontation of the same stereotype. Participants perceived the teacher and student more positively when they confronted rather than ignored the stereotype. However, the source of the confrontation yielded no differences in sexism. These results suggest that students want their teachers to respond to bias in the classroom and that teachers should respond to sexist incidents in order to reduce the level of sexism among their students.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: May 1, 2013

References

  • Social influence: Compliance and conformity
    Cialdini, RB; Goldstein, NK
  • Perceptions of non–target confronters in response to racist and heterosexist remarks
    Dickter, CL; Kittel, JA; Gyurovski, II
  • Respected or rejected: Perceptions of women who confront sexist remarks
    Dodd, EH; Giuliano, TA; Boutell, JM; Moran, BE
  • Perceived experiences with sexism among adolescent girls
    Leaper, C; Brown, C

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