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Sex Characteristic Stereotypes or Congruence: Do Either Matter Any More to Ratings of Performance?

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image of International Journal of Comparative Sociology
For more content, see Comparative Sociology.

The present study examines students' expectations of the teaching abilities of hypothetical university professors in an attempt to assess the effect of gender stereotypes on ratings of occupational performance. Undergraduate sociology students were presented with a brief description of a hypothetical professor (either male or female) and then indicated their expectations of his/her teaching abilities on a list of positive and negative teaching attributes. Three possible outcomes were anticipated: the male professor receiving a more positive rating than the female professor; the female professor receiving a more positive rating; or no gender differences in the ratings. Two separate tests were conducted, the second with a revised instrument, and the data were analyzed using ANOVA. Neither the initial test (n = 80), nor the retest (n = 61) resulted in any ratings difference due to the gender of the professors or students. However, caution is necessary in interpreting the results as evidence that students no longer use gender stereotypes as guides for their expectations of teaching performance.


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