Target Article: Moss-Racusin, C. A., Dovidio, J. F., Brescoll, V. L., Graham, M. J., & Handelsman, J. (2012). Science faculty’s subtle gender biases favor male students. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109, 16474-16479.

Video Summary: A male professor (Kevin) does not think a female graduate student (Sarah) is competent enough to help him with the microscope. When Kevin first encounters Sarah, he asks for the assistance of another male graduate student (Peter). Kevin assumes that Peter is the only student who can help him with something as technical as the microscope.

Suggested Discussion Questions:

  • Why do you think Kevin assumed Sarah could not help with the microscope? Why did Kevin act surprised when Sarah said she could help?
  • Were there other ways that Kevin was subtlety rude or dismissive of Sarah?
  • Was Kevin intentionally trying to be impolite to Sarah? If not, what was driving Kevin’s behavior?
  • If Kevin realized he acted inappropriately, what could he do?
  • Could Sarah have pointed out the problems with Kevin’s behavior? Why or why not?
  • If Sarah could not confront Kevin, what other actions could she take?