PhD Vergoossen

As the first PhD Student in our project, Hellen Vergoossen recently defended her thesis entitled Breaking the Binary: Attitudes towards and cognitive effects of gender-neutral pronouns. Congrats Hellen!

Read her thesis here.

Gender diversity in recruitment: Influence of gender trouble on applicant attraction and evaluation

Our latest article has recently been published in Journal of Applied Social Psychology:

The current research addresses gender trouble (acts that question the naturalness of a binary gender system) in two parts of the recruitment situation: applicant attraction and evaluation. Experiment 1 (N = 1,147) investigated how different Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) statements in an organization description influenced organizational evaluations. The EEO statements emphasized gender as binary (women and men), gender as diverse (multi-gender), or gender as irrelevant (de-gender; compared with no EEO statement). Gender minority participants experienced decreased identity threat in response to the multi-gendered and the de-gendered EEO statements, which increased organizational attractivity. There was no significant effect of EEO statement for gender majority participants. Multi-gendered and de-gendered EEO statements increased perceived gender diversity within the organization. Experiment 2 (N = 214) investigated how applicants with a normative or non-normative gender expression were evaluated by HR-specialists. Applicants with a non-normative gender expression were rated as more suitable for the position and recommended a higher starting salary than applicants with a normative gender expression. Women with a non-normative gender expression were rated as more likely to be employed than men with a non-normative gender expression, while women applicants regardless of gender expression were rated as the most likely to acquire the position. This research indicates that gender minorities can be explicitly included in EEO statements without negative impact on gender majority groups and with a positive impact on gender minority groups. Furthermore, a non-normative gender expression was not found to be a cause for biased evaluations in an initial recruitment situation.

Gender Stereotypes in Student Evaluations of Teaching

Our latest article has recently been published in Frontiers in Education:

This paper tests how gender stereotypes may result in biased student evaluations of teaching (SET). We thereby contribute to an ongoing discussion about the validity and use of SET in academia. According to social psychological theory, gender biases in SET may occur because of a lack of fit between gender stereotypes, and the professional roles individuals engage in. A lack of fit often leads to more negative evaluations. Given that the role as a lecturer is associated with masculinity, women might suffer from biased SET because gender stereotypes indicate that they do not fit with this role. In two 2 × 2 between groups online experiments (N’s = 400 and 452), participants read about a fictitious woman or man lecturer, described in terms of stereotypically feminine or masculine behavior, and evaluated the lecturer on different SET outcomes. Results showed that women lecturers were not disfavored in general, but that described feminine or masculine behaviors led to gendered evaluations of the lecturer. The results were especially pronounced in Experiment 2 where a lecturer described as displaying feminine behaviors was expected to also be more approachable, was better liked and the students rather attended their course. However, a lecturer displaying masculine behaviors were instead perceived as being more competent, a better pedagogue and leader. Gender incongruent behavior was therefore not sanctioned by lower SET. The results still support that SET should not be used as sole indicators of pedagogic ability of a lecturer for promotion and hiring decisions because they may be gender-biased.

 

What is gender, anyway: a review of the options for operationalising gender

Our latest scientific article has recently been published in Psychology & Sexuality:

In the social sciences, many quantitative research findings as well as presentations of demographics are related to participants’ gender. Most often, gender is represented by a dichotomous variable with the possible responses of woman/man or female/male, although gender is not a binary variable. It is, however, rarely defined what is meant by gender. In this article, we deconstruct the concept ‘gender’ as consisting of several facets, and argue that the researcher needs to identify relevant aspects of gender in relation to their research question. We make a thorough exposition of considerations that the researcher should bear in mind when formulating questions about each facet, in order to exemplify how complex this construct is. We also remind the researcher that gender is not a binary category and discuss challenges in the balance between taking existing gender diversity into account and yet sorting participants into gender categorisations that function in statistical analyzes. To aid in this process, we provide an empirical example on how gender identity may be categorised when using a free-text response. Lastly, we suggest that other measurements than participants’ gender might be better predictors of the outcome variable.

Hen receives international attention

During the last days, international media has picked up on hen, and several members from our project group have been interviewed. We are very happy that our Swedish gender-neutral pronoun receives attention!

Marie Gustafsson Sendén has been interviewed about hen and our research in Wired.
Sabine Sczesny has been interviewed about gender-fair language in The Guardian.
Anna Lindqvist and Erik van Berlekom have been interviewed about our research and non-binary gender identities in the Dutch newspaper Trouw (in Dutch).

International Convention of Psychological Science

Several of us in the project group have been to the large psychological conference International Convention of Psychological Science in Paris to present our research.

Amanda presented the poster Perception of Gender Equality Statements – The Moderating Effect of Gender Identification on Organisation Appeal. Download the poster as pdf.

Hellen presented the poster Swedish Gender-Neutral Pronoun Has No Gender Bias in Reading. Download the poster as pdf.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Anna
 represented the project group in a symposium with the talk Gender-neutral
pronouns as promoters of gender equality and diversity
, where she presented the results from our article in Sex Roles. She also presented some new data which indicates that “he/she” is associated with normative women and men, while hen also is associated with individuals with non-normative gender expressions.