INTRODUCTIONPrejudice affects groups of people regarding race, ethnicity, gender, and economic status, along with other classification. Citizens of the United States of America have been subjected to various prejudices. For example, citizens such African Americans and women have been the victim of prejudice for hundreds of years. Recently, prejudices against African Americans are still prevalent to some citizens and areas of the United States. As far as the concept of women, they still have problems regarding gender bias. A previous study was conducted to find out if same-gender bias was present in the American society today. This study entailed a list of 14 categories in which both men and women had to provide ratings for. The question asked what makes a leader valuable in men and women. Both women and men participated in this study. They both were asked to complete and rate the same list. This study suggested that women rated men as having better qualities for leadership positions (Martell and Desmet, 2001). Another study regarding gender bias was conducted to see who men and women prefer to have in authority positions. For instance, if women prefer to have men or women in these positions. Rudman and Kilianski (2000) suggested that both men and women prefer to have men in authority positions. A study by McKay and Tate (2001) wanted to see if the gender of a salesperson would influence performance evaluations. This study used students (male and female) from a university as participants and randomly assigned them to four different groups. The participants were divided into groups that differed on gender and whether the salesperson was seen as high or low performing. The groups were low-performing males, low-performing females, high-performing males, and high-performing females. The students were asked how they thought the salesperson`s supervisor would respond to the performance of the employee, such as, high performers getting a pay increase or low performers being terminated. This previous study suggests that high-performing males are more likely to be rewarded for their performance than women with the same performance. However, low-performing males were more likely to be fired than low-performing females with regard to having the same performance. If Martell and Desmet (2001), Rudman and Kilianski (2000), McKay and Tate (2001), are right that women tend to favor men as opposed to women in power what are the factors that attribute to this tendency of women to judge men as being more superior than women? Do women really evaluate men as being more superior and more powerful or do women just look down on other women? This study investigated if gender bias plays a role in how women evaluate writing quality. The purpose of this study was to see if there was a significant difference between the gender of the author and the writing quality evaluations. It was predicted that women would rate a male-authored article more positively than the identical article credited to a female-author. The third group with the author not mentioned was the control group. It was predicted that the participants who did not have an author mentioned in the article would rate it worse than the male-authored article, and higher than the female-authored article.
Data were collected from female college students attending Missouri Western State College that are enrolled in an Introductory Psychology class. The students received extra credit for their participation in this study. Female participants were only needed in this study, but male students in the Introductory Psychology class participated and received extra credit. The male participant`s data was not analyzed only the female data was analyzed. The participants were not told by the experimenter the gender of the author, but the author`s name was listed below the title on each separate article. There were three groups that participated in this study with 31 participants in total. Group one read the article about the 2004 Presidential election credited to a female author, group two credited to a male author, and group three with no author mentioned below the title. Group one read the article credited to a female author had ten participants, group two read the article credited to a male author had 11 participants, and group three read the article with no author mentioned had ten participants.
An article about the 2004 Presidential election was used in this study. Three different versions of this article were used with the author`s gender being the only difference. The title of the article is Young Voters Discovering the Campaign by C.W. Nevius. This article was found in the San Francisco Chronicle on Tuesday, October, 19th paper.
An experimental design was used to conduct this study. The independent variable was gender of the author (male, female, or no author mentioned). The dependent variable was the evaluation of writing quality. An Introductory Psychology class was used to conduct this experiment. The experimenter gave the participants instructions to read the article and to circle the number that corresponds to how they rate this piece of writing. Instructions were at the top of the article that said please read the article and rate the quality of writing from the scale at the bottom of the article. The scale was from one to ten (one being very poorly written, five being average, and a ten being very well written). In addition, at the bottom of the second page of the article the participants were asked to indicate their gender by checking either the female or male box. The class will not be allowed to see other student`s articles. Therefore, the participants were not aware that other classmates had different authors listed. Doing this helped to prevent bias from the participants.
RESULTS The writing quality means of participants from the three different groups either reading a female, male, or no author mentioned article were compared using a one-way ANOVA. No significant difference was found (F (2, 28) = .13, p = .88). The participants from the three groups either reading a female, male, or no author mentioned article did not differ significantly on how they evaluated writing quality. The mean rating for the female-author was 6.1, no author mentioned was 5.7, and the male-authored was 5.9.
DISCUSSIONThe results of this experiment reveal that women do not evaluate an article written by a male more positively than the identical article credited to a female. The results were disappointing because there were not any significant difference found from the statistical analysis calculated. The female students from this study did not evaluate the article credited to the male author higher than the female-authored article. It seems that gender of the author did not play a role in how the participants judged writing quality. Therefore, as the participants read the identical articles the only difference being gender of the author, the author`s gender did not impact how they viewed the quality of writing. Although, no significant difference were found the participants who read articles that had either a male or female author mentioned at the top of the article were evaluated as being higher quality, than the group that had no author mentioned. Therefore, it seems that having any author mentioned impacts in a positive way how the participants evaluated writing quality. In reference to a previous study by Rudman and Kilianski, (2000) their findings regarding both men and woman preferring men to be in authority positions cannot be generalized to other areas concerning how women rate writing quality. Another previous study by Martell and Desmet (2001) found that both men and women prefer to have men in authority positions. This current study about female gender bias failed to have significant results that would have helped to generalize that females are bias when the judge the writing quality of identical articles. It seems that this study regarding gender bias and writing quality is not consistent with the findings from similar research in the area of gender bias. One main problem with this experiment could have been the topic chosen for the piece of writing the participants read. The study used an article about the 2004 Presidential Election. This topic might have created problems because college students might not care about the election and not want to read about the election for extra credit. If this experiment were to be repeated in the future, the type of article could be tested as another independent variable, along with gender of the author. One possible idea could be having participants either read an article about fishing or infants. By doing this, the researcher could see if females judge the same article about fishing higher for the male-authored article than the same article credited to female.
REFERENCES Martell, R. F., & Desmet, A. L. (2001). A diagnostic-ration approach to measuring beliefs about the leadership abilities of male and female managers. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86, 1223-1231.Mckay, S., & Tate, U. (2001). Student attitudes regarding gender bias in performance of salespeople. Journal of Business & Psychology, 16, 249-258. Rudman, L. A., & Kilianski, S. E. (2000). Implicit and explicit attitudes toward female authority. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 26, 1315-1328.
APPENDIX Appendix2004 Presidential Election ArticleInstructions: Please read this article about the 2004 Election. After you read this article please rate the quality of writing by circling the appropriate number.Young Voters Discovering CampaignBy: Megan Clark
We know they exist, but their beliefs are a mystery. (Pollsters can`t reach them on their cell phones.) They are influential, but don`t seem to care. (Caring isn`t cool.) Many people claim they won`t even show up. (They haven`t in the past.) They are young voters -- Generation iPod -- and they could decide this presidential election. It is estimated that there are 25 million to 29 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 24, a number that jumps to nearly 40 million if you include those 18 to 30. This year, for the first time, that voting bloc has been courted with big budget major media campaigns. They range from P. Diddy`s politically incorrect "Vote or Die`` T-shirts to fake draft cards sent out by Rock the Vote. The result? Very interesting. There may be no better test case than out here in the blase burbs, where traditional concerns have revolved around the mall and the latest music downloads. Unexpectedly, backpacks have begun sporting George W. Bush and John Kerry buttons. Suddenly, students care. Kevin Honey, who teaches a freshman government class at Miramonte High in Orinda, is amazed by the response among seniors. "(The election) is all they want to talk about,`` he says. "The teacher just sets aside 10 minutes at the start of every class for discussion.`` It extends beyond high school political science classes. Two years ago, Democratic activist Terry Leach was on the Diablo Valley College campus attempting to register students to vote. "I couldn`t even get the kids to come to the table,`` she says. "Actually, that`s not true. Some came over to give me a hard time.`` This year? "This year it has been very different at DVC," says Sarbi Mahil, a 27- year-old communications major. "We had someone in the quad every day registering people to vote. I am sure a lot of people will be voting this year. " The Pew Research center estimated last month that 58 percent of all 18- to 24-year-olds were registered, the most since 1992. Of course, the youth vote has mostly been a big dud ever since 1972, when the 26th Amendment lowered the voting age to 18 from 21. Only half of the eligible 18- to 24-year olds voted then, and the number has steadily declined, hitting 36 percent in 2000. But if they ever did vote in large numbers ... "It would send a shiver down the spines of both political parties,`` says Dorrie Mazzone, a DVC political science instructor who thinks election interest is way up with her students. "As it should.`` Why would this election be any different than the others? Well, did you notice how both George Bush and John Kerry went out of their way in the second presidential debate to deny that they would reinstate the military draft? "If there will be one issue that will galvanize them, it is the draft,`` says John Kropf, who teaches political science at College Park High School in Pleasant Hill and at DVC. "They really feel it would be disruptive to their lives.`` The problem -- besides the fact a Friday night debate was not the best time to reach young voters -- was those who heard the promise might not have bought it. "Even though we have been told the draft is not coming back,`` says Robert Klein, an 18-year-old senior at Acalanes High in Lafayette and Youth Outreach Coordinator for the Lamorinda Democratic Club, "the draft is a big open question no matter who you talk to.`` And although he may not have used the right term, Bush was right when he said the "Internets`` were abuzz with talk of the draft. That brings up the second important point about young voters. As DVC political science professor Scott MacDougall says, "their sources are different from my sources.`` MacDougall likes to think of himself as well informed. He reads several newspapers each day, watches the news channels and keeps up with current events. But he found that, when his students brought up the mysterious bulge in Bush`s suit during the second debate, "I didn`t know what they were talking about.`` That`s because the deep thinker molding political thought for the new generation isn`t on CNN or Fox. Its snarky and smart Jon Stewart, host of "The Daily Show" on the Comedy Central network. "I`ve started watching `The Daily Show,` `` says MacDougall, "because it has become apparent to me that is what they are watching.`` Klein, the senior at Acalanes, says, "The Daily Show is an absolute staple. Of the people I consider my friends, I would say 90 percent watch it regularly. Of the people I know, I`d say 50 percent.`` In fact, a June survey by the Pew Foundation found that "20 percent of young voters got their news from Mr. Stewart`s show.`` So, to review, we have a large, like-minded group of voters who have recently registered to vote and who get much of their information from sources their elders don`t even know about. Couldn`t they make a difference? No, say the political wonks, the kids never show up on election day. Maybe not, but consider this: The 18-24 vote was split almost exactly 50- 50 in the 2000 presidential election. Only 36 percent of the nations 18- to 24-year-olds voted, but among those who registered to vote, the turnout was 78 percent. And the youth vote has sided with the winner in every presidential election since 1984. It`s something to keep in mind.Please circle the number the corresponds to how you rate this piece of writing. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10Very Poorly Average Very Well Written Written Please indicate if you are: MALE_______ FEMALE_______