Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Rhonda E. Dugan
Gender bias refers to the socially constructed preference for one sex/gender over the other. The practice of gender bias can be unconscious or conscious. For example, in a grade school classroom, a teacher (female or male) can be gender biased by calling on young boys more than young girls to answer questions or to encourage boys' participation in class discussion. The teacher's gender bias may stem from the belief that male students might have more to contribute to the classroom environment than females. As a social problem, gender bias can appear in various social contexts: the educational system, the work environment and economy, families, the criminal justice system, politics, religion, and medicine. Even how spoken and written language is structured reflects gender bias, such as use of the pronoun he as the generic word to represent both men and women. Although instances occur where gender bias favors females over Notably, ...