Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/196120
Title:
THE ROLE OF GENDER IN EVALUATIONS OF SCIENTIFIC COMPETENCE
Author:
Hunter, Laura Ann
Issue Date:
2010
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Women remain noticeably underrepresented in science despite remarkable gains in other fields, and in this dissertation, I posit that biased assessments of competence are a mechanism for fewer women pursuing - and succeeding in - science. Drawing from status characteristic theory, I expect that women will be assessed - and assess themselves - as less competent in science than men, which will in turn affect important career decisions and outcomes. In Chapter 2, I test whether similar women and men differ in their self-assessments of their scientific competence using an experimental design. As expected, women evaluated themselves as less competent than similar men when receiving the same feedback about their scientific aptitude. Because self-assessments of competence affect career-relevant decisions, women also reported significantly lower likelihoods of pursuing science-related education and careers, although the effect of gender is no longer significant once self-assessments are controlled for. The results suggest that biased self-assessments of competence are a mechanism for fewer women entering science to begin with. In Chapter 3, I conduct an experiment embedded within a survey to test whether a scientist's gender affects competence assessments made by peers, and whether competence assessments in turn affect important career outcomes, such as hiring support and remuneration. The results suggest that women in science face barriers in getting hired and in the rewards they garner for their careers, even when they are seen as equally competent as men. Because women face these disadvantages even when controlling for competence assessments, alternative mechanisms should be investigated. In Chapter 4, I shift theoretical and empirical focus to investigate how the gender of a scientist directing a scientific job affects evaluations of the job itself. Drawing from devaluation theory, I predict that a scientific job directed by a woman would be given less favorable evaluations. Indeed, the results indicate that when a job is directed by a woman rather than a man, it is seen as less prestigious, exciting, interesting, and valuable. The implications of the results and future avenues of research are discussed.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Sociology; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Leahey, Erin
Committee Chair:
Leahey, Erin

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleTHE ROLE OF GENDER IN EVALUATIONS OF SCIENTIFIC COMPETENCEen_US
dc.creatorHunter, Laura Annen_US
dc.contributor.authorHunter, Laura Annen_US
dc.date.issued2010en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractWomen remain noticeably underrepresented in science despite remarkable gains in other fields, and in this dissertation, I posit that biased assessments of competence are a mechanism for fewer women pursuing - and succeeding in - science. Drawing from status characteristic theory, I expect that women will be assessed - and assess themselves - as less competent in science than men, which will in turn affect important career decisions and outcomes. In Chapter 2, I test whether similar women and men differ in their self-assessments of their scientific competence using an experimental design. As expected, women evaluated themselves as less competent than similar men when receiving the same feedback about their scientific aptitude. Because self-assessments of competence affect career-relevant decisions, women also reported significantly lower likelihoods of pursuing science-related education and careers, although the effect of gender is no longer significant once self-assessments are controlled for. The results suggest that biased self-assessments of competence are a mechanism for fewer women entering science to begin with. In Chapter 3, I conduct an experiment embedded within a survey to test whether a scientist's gender affects competence assessments made by peers, and whether competence assessments in turn affect important career outcomes, such as hiring support and remuneration. The results suggest that women in science face barriers in getting hired and in the rewards they garner for their careers, even when they are seen as equally competent as men. Because women face these disadvantages even when controlling for competence assessments, alternative mechanisms should be investigated. In Chapter 4, I shift theoretical and empirical focus to investigate how the gender of a scientist directing a scientific job affects evaluations of the job itself. Drawing from devaluation theory, I predict that a scientific job directed by a woman would be given less favorable evaluations. Indeed, the results indicate that when a job is directed by a woman rather than a man, it is seen as less prestigious, exciting, interesting, and valuable. The implications of the results and future avenues of research are discussed.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineSociologyen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorLeahey, Erinen_US
dc.contributor.chairLeahey, Erinen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberLeahey, Erinen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMolm, Lindaen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberRoth, Louiseen_US
dc.identifier.proquest11183en_US
dc.identifier.oclc752261037en_US
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