The Effects of Professor Gender on Student Behavior
Sponsored by Missouri Western State University Sponsored by a grant from the National Science Foundation DUE-97-51113
Home |
The proper APA Style reference for this manuscript is:
TORRES, E. -. (2005). The Effects of Professor Gender on Student Behavior. National Undergraduate Research Clearinghouse, 8. Available online at http://www.webclearinghouse.net/volume/. Retrieved December 11, 2017 .

The Effects of Professor Gender on Student Behavior
ELIZABETH -. TORRES
MISSOURI WESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY

Sponsored by: Brian Cronk (cronk@missouriwestern.edu)
ABSTRACT
The purpose of my study is to determine whether professor gender has an effect on student behavior. To determine this I have made two surveys, one is describing a male professor and one is describing a female professor. After each description there are about six questions that the participant had to answer. The survey was given to 39 freshmen college students in a Psych.101 class at Missouri Western State University. I hypothesized that the professors’ gender would have an affect on the students’ behavior. After statistics were made I found that there was no significance.

INTRODUCTION
Professors have a great impact on students on a day to day basis. There have been many studies done to find relationships between students and professors. Many of the studies that I found suggested that gender makes a difference in how professors are evaluated. One study that I found indicated those students perception of classroom climate depend on; whether the class is liked or disliked, and also the gender of the professor. (Rosenfeld & Jarrard, 1985). Obviously gender has a lot to do with how students react to the classroom environment. Classroom size is also said to effect student behavior. Many think that if the classroom size is too large it affects the student’s ability to have one on one time with the professor (Rosenfeld & Jarrard, 1985). Besides the professors gender there are also many other things that may affect the students behavior. Clothing, gestures, and use of language have all been examined as nonverbal and verbal communication skills that influence a student’s perception of professors. Yet gender is one characteristic that is not in the hands of the faculty that may influence evaluation of the faculty. When undergraduate students were asked to describe the “ideal” professor the traits that emerged were knowledge, intellect, ability professionalism, ability to communicate, openness, and nurturing (Bachen& McLoughlin, 1999). There is a study that indicates that professors are rated depending on the professor’s gender, and that they are also rated depending on the student’s gender. It was also said that when a professor is labeled as a Dr. the male is a norm (Burns-Glover & Vieth, 1995). How about the age of the professor or how long the professor has been teaching or whether the professor is a Dr. do any of these things matter? Well I know that as a student myself I want to have a professor that is very nice, open, and most of all understanding. Every person is different and they prefer different characteristics in a professor. Maybe male students would like to have female professors that are young and beautiful, or maybe some female students prefer young male professor that is freshly out of grad school. If the professors age or gender does not matter, what about their behavior characteristics? Characteristics may include the way that the professor speaks, the way they walk, look, their teaching manner, etc. etc. The purpose of this study is to determine whether professor gender has on effect on the student’s behavior.


METHOD
-None-

PARTICIPANTS
For this study I collected data from a Psych. 101 class. They each received extra credit for participating in filling out my survey. The class consisted of a total of 38 students. Nine were male and 27 were females. Ages ranged from 18 to 53.

MATERIALS
The materials that I used were two surveys. One described a male professor and the other survey described a female professor. In these surveys I described the age of the professor, the gender, teaching techniques, and the amount of time that the professor has been teaching. After the short paragraph I then asked the students simple yes or no questions that determined their attitude according to the description that I gave them of the professor (refer to “Appendix A” for male professor and “Appendix B” for Female professor).

PROCEDURE
The design of this study was an Independent – Samples t Test. I did not pass out the surveys in any order so that the participants would randomly receive either the survey of the male or the female professor. The dependent variable was the student behavior and the independent variable was the professor gender.


RESULTS
An independent – samples t test was calculated comparing the mean score of whether students thought that the professor would be easy to talk too to the mean score of the professor gender. No significant difference was found (t(36) = -1.093, .282 > .05). The mean of the male professor (m = 2.4, sd = .70479) was not significantly different from the mean of the female professor (m = 2.70, sd = .73270). An independent – samples t test was calculated comparing the mean score of whether the student would be on time to class everyday to the mean score of the professor gender. No significant difference was found (t(36) = -.606, .549 > .05). The mean of the male professor (m = 3.50, sd = .51450) was not significantly different from the mean of the female professor (m = 3.60, sd = .50262). An independent – samples t test was calculated comparing the mean score of whether the student would complete homework the professor gave them on time to the mean score of the professor gender. No significant difference was found (t(36) = - .401, .691 >.05). The mean of the male professor (m = 3.72, sd = .75190) was not significantly different from the mean of the female professor (m = 3.80, sd = .41039). An independent – samples t test was calculated comparing the mean score of how challenging the student believed the class would be to the mean score of the professor gender. No significant difference was found (t(36) = 1.189, .242 >.05). The mean of the male professor (m = 3.27, sd = .82644) was not significantly different from the mean of the female professor (m = 2.9150, sd = 2.9150).


DISCUSSION
The purpose of this study was to determine whether a professors’ gender had an effect on student behavior. My hypothesis was that there would be an effect in the students’ behavior. I believed that the students would react differently towards a male professor compared t a female professor. I thought that students would feel that they were more likely to get away with more if they had a female professor versus a male professor. I found that my results were not significant. To the students it did not matter whether the professor was male or female. This did not make a difference in whether they were going to be to class on time or not, whether they thought the professor was easy to talk too, whether they would complete their homework on time, or whether they thought the class would be challenging. Their behavior was not affected due to their professors’ gender. Now that I have my results I believe that gender is not the only thing that affects a student’s behavior. As I found in some of my research maybe the environment that the student is in also has to do in whether the students behavior is affected or not. Another thing that may affect the students’ behavior may be the professors’ gestures or their way of teaching (Bachen& McLoughlin, 1999). Such as the way they grade or whether they have any quizzes. For future research I would recommend that the study determine whether the professors’ behavior, the way they teach or the way they dress has an effect on how the student behaves towards the teacher. Another idea would be to perform this research on an upper level class. I would also suggest that they use a bigger population, such as more than one class and different classes such as an English class or a Science class.


REFERENCES
Alyson, L., Burns, G., & Veith, D.J. (1995). Revisiting gender and teaching evaluations: Sex still makes a difference. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 10, 69- 80.Bachen , C.M. (1999). Assessing the role of gender in college students’ evaluations of faculty. Communication Education, 48, 193-211.Rosenfeld, L.B. (1985). The effects of perceived sexism in female and male college professors on student’s description of classroom climate. Communication Education, 34, 205-213.


APPENDIX A
SurveyDr. Jones has a PhD in English. He is 45 years old, and he has been a professor for 15 years. His classes consist of mostly lecture, and there will be three exams. He expects you to be to class on time. He closes the door right when class starts. He doesn’t take attendance but he believes that if you miss class it will be at your cost. Especially on the day of an exam.

1. What is your gender? Check one. Male ____ Female____2. What is your age?3. I think he would be easy to talk to? Circle one. Strongly Agree Strongly Disagree Agree Disagree

4. Will you be on time to his class everyday? Circle one. Always Almost Never Almost Always Never

5. I would complete homework he gave us on time? Circle one. Always Almost Never Almost Always Never

6. How challenging do you feel his class would be? Circle one. Always Almost Never Almost Always Never


APPENDIX B
SurveyDr. Jones has a PhD in English. She is 45 years old, and she has been a professor for 15 years. Her classes consist of mostly lecture, and there will be three exams. She expects you to be to class on time. She closes the door right when class starts. She doesn’t take attendance but she believes that if you miss class it will be at your own cost. Especially on the day of an exam.

1. What is your gender? Check one. Male ____ Female____2. What is your age?3. I think she would be easy to talk to? Circle one. Strongly Agree Strongly Disagree Agree Disagree

4. Will you be on time to her class everyday? Circle one. Always Almost Never Almost Always Never

5. I would complete homework she gave us on time? Circle one. Always Almost Never Almost Always Never

6. How challenging do you feel her class would be? Circle one. Always Almost Never Almost Always Never

Submitted 12/8/2005 11:08:02 AM
Last Edited 12/8/2005 11:23:33 AM
Converted to New Site 03/09/2009

Rated by 0 users. Users who logon can rate manuscripts and write reviews.

© 2017 National Undergraduate Research Clearinghouse. All rights reserved. The National Undergraduate Research Clearinghouse is not responsible for the content posted on this site. If you discover material that violates copyright law, please notify the administrator. This site receives money through the Google AdSense program when users are directed to useful commercial sites. We do not encourage or condone clicking on the displayed ads unless you have a legitimate interest in the advertisement.