Sex Roles

, Volume 53, Issue 11–12, pp 779–793 | Cite as

Student Evaluations and Gendered Expectations: What We Can't Count Can Hurt Us

  • Joey SpragueEmail author
  • Kelley Massoni


Does teacher's gender impact students' evaluations? We critically evaluated the research literature and concluded that the form gender bias takes may not be easily detectible by quantitative scales. To explore this possibility, we did a qualitative analysis of the words that 288 college students at two campuses used to describe their best- and worst-ever teachers. Although we found considerable overlap in the ways that students talked about their male and female teachers, we also saw indications that students hold teachers accountable to certain gendered expectations. These expectations place burdens on all teachers, but the burdens on women are more labor-intensive. We also saw signs of much greater hostility toward women than toward men who do not meet students' gendered expectations.

Key Words

teaching evaluations student evaluations gender discrimination 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of KansasLawrence
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of KansasLawrence

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