Monday, June 29, 2009

This Study Was Done By A Woman, It Can't Be Correct

Harvard-bound econ student Emily Sands did a discrimination study for her senior project at Princeton. The NYTimes reports on her methods and results: like resume studies, she found that by sending the same script to a sampling of directors for their ratings, she could show gender bias in the recipients. Directors systematically rated a script with a female name at the top lower than they did when a male name appeared above the same script.

So directors are sexist. But wait: only female directors showed sexism. Male directors rated scripts attributed to men and women equally. Sands attempts to explain this as women directors passing along what they perceive the opinions of the men around them to be.

This leads James Taranto at BOTWT to argue that, to him, 'the study suggests that sex discrimination and the "awareness" thereof are one and the same thing.'

Plausible, perhaps. However, I'd criticize Sands' original interpretation: given that she has evidence that male directors do not discriminate, it would behoove her not to blame men here. Being generally ignorant of the field, I won't suggest an alternative explanation for Sands' data, but I would be interested to hear others' ideas for why women-against-women discrimination exists.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Women, red in tooth and claw.