Study: Male Undergrads Assume Their Female Colleagues Are Not As Smart

"Something under the conscious is going on ... For 18 years, these [young men] have been socialized to have this bias.”

By Eric Shorey

You know that guy in college who would always interrupt women to interject his own useless opinion because he assumes that his lady colleagues were less intelligent than him? You know the one, right? Turns out pretty much everyone does, because he is now a statistically observable phenomenon.

A new study reported on by Jezebel suggests "that male students default to the belief that their fellow male students are the highest-achieving and most knowledgeable people in their classes—even if, as happens more than occasionally, this is not at all the case."

The research, which comes from the University of Washington and was headed by anthropologist Dan Grunspan, states that:

"After surveying roughly 1,700 students across three biology courses, they found young men consistently gave each other more credit than they awarded to their just-as-savvy female classmates.

Men over-ranked their peers by three-quarters of a GPA point, according to the study, published this month in the journal PLOS ONE. In other words, if Johnny and Susie both had A’s, they’d receive equal applause from female students — but Susie would register as a B student in the eyes of her male peers, and Johnny would look like a rock star."

Grunspan added his own interpretation of the statistics. "Something under the conscious is going on,” he said. “For 18 years, these [young men] have been socialized to have this bias.”

The study utilized a survey in which students would nominate their strongest classmates at three different points in the year. Unsurprisingly, "Male students ... awarded fellow male students a recognition boost equivalent to a GPA increase of 0.76 ... In one class, the most renowned man, so to speak, garnered 52 nominations, while the most renowned woman snagged nine."

The gender bias of women amounted to close to 0%.

Huh! It's almost like being surrounded by a culture which consistently praises the contributions of mediocre men has an effect on our biases. Who would've thunk!

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