Male bias persists in female-rich science conferences

Nov 21, 2012

Women scientists in primatology are poorly represented at symposia organized by men, but receive equal representation when symposia organizers are women or mixed groups, according to research published November 21 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Lynne Isbell and colleagues from the University of California, Davis.

The authors analyzed ' participation at major scientific conferences for primate scientists and , where symposia are largely by invitation but posters and other talks are initiated by participants. They found that within the field of primatology, women give more posters than talks, whereas men give more talks than posters. Their analysis also shows that symposia organized by men on average included half the number of women authors (29%) than symposia organized by women or both men and women (58 to 64%).

They describe their results as particularly surprising given that primatology is a field with a significant history of women scientists. In their discussion of these findings, the authors say, "Regardless of the cause of against women in invitations to prestigious symposia, its discovery requires attention in a field that is exemplary in being gender-blind in so many other ways."

Lynne Isbell adds, "It is difficult to imagine in this day and age that a gender bias by men against women in primatology could exist, but the evidence clearly reveals the sad truth. If it is still happening in a science that is so heavily represented by women, what does that mean for other sciences where women remain in the minority?"

Explore further: A two generation lens: Current state policies fail to support families with young children

More information: Isbell LA, Young TP, Harcourt AH (2012) Stag Parties Linger: Continued Gender Bias in a Female-Rich Scientific Discipline. PLoS ONE 7(11): e49682. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0049682

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Gender bias in leading scientific journals

Aug 30, 2012

Fewer women than men are asked to write in the leading scientific journals. That is established by two researchers from Lund University in Sweden, who criticise the gender bias.

The myth of the 'queen bee': Work and sexism

Jun 20, 2011

Female bosses sometimes have a reputation for not being very nice. Some display what's called "queen bee" behavior, distancing themselves from other women and refusing to help other women as they rise through the ranks. Now, ...

Gender affects reaction to HIV-prevention materials

Jun 10, 2008

Various intervention strategies have been implemented to curb the rise of HIV, and a factor that might affect exposure to interventionsis gender. A new study in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology reviewed the behavi ...

Suicide methods differ between men and women

Aug 30, 2011

Women who commit suicide are more likely than men to avoid facial disfiguration, but not necessarily in the name of vanity. Valerie Callanan from the University of Akron and Mark Davis from the Criminal Justice Research Center ...

Recommended for you

Scholar tracks the changing world of gay sexuality

Sep 19, 2014

With same-sex marriage now legalized in 19 states and laws making it impossible to ban homosexuals from serving in the military, gay, lesbian and bisexual people are now enjoying more freedoms and rights than ever before.

User comments : 0