09/26/2012 01:48 pm ET

Science Professors Think Women Are 'Less Competent' Than Men, Study Finds


Scientists are not immune to misogynistic bias, a study has found.

According to a recent study at Yale University, both male and female professors at American colleges routinely think that female undergraduates are markedly less intelligent and less qualified than male peers with the exact same qualifications. They also want to pay them less when offering them jobs. It was a very depressing study.

Yale contacted 127 professors at state schools and private schools with the same so-so application for a job. But there was one major difference.

The New York Times has more:

In half of the descriptions, the mythical applicant was named John and in half the applicant was named Jennifer.


On a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being highest, professors gave John an average score of 4 for competence and Jennifer 3.3. John was also seen more favorably as someone they might hire for their laboratories or would be willing to mentor.

The average starting salary offered to Jennifer was $26,508. To John it was $30,328.

“I think this shows just how subtle and pervasive these cultural stereotypes are,” Corinne A. Moss-Racusin, a post-doc in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology, told “There has been a feeling that women are underrepresented in the sciences because of personal or lifestyle choices, but it is clear that gender bias is also present.”