Despite progressive changes, subtle sexism is still present in modern society. The present study used role congruity theory to explain how subtle sexism influences the ratings students provide for professors. Participants were presented with fictional scenarios where professor gender was manipulated and source of a mistake (student versus professor) was manipulated. For each scenario, students provided ratings of competence, likability, and likelihood to take another class with the professor. Multiple t-tests revealed no difference in student ratings between female professors and male professors who made mistakes and between female professors and male professors overall, although there was a significant difference in student ratings between professors who made mistakes and students that made mistakes. Student ratings revealed that female professors were rated lower than male professors when the professor made a mistake, suggesting that perceptions of faculty who make mistakes is more negative for female professors than for male professors. This implies that sexism is still present in modern society and influences how students can form perceptions of professors. Future research could focus on the detection of specific language used by students in their interactions with professors.
Date of Degree
Master of Arts (MA)
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Knutson, R. E. (2014). Student Assessment of Professor Effectiveness [Master’s thesis, Minnesota State University, Mankato]. Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works for Minnesota State University, Mankato. https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/etds/348/
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