Gender Bias in Research

Discussion: Gender Bias in Research

Historically, men have dominated scientific research. Accordingly, the way research has been designed, the way studies have been conducted, and the ways in which results have been interpreted have been at risk for gender bias. In other words, the preconceived ideas and beliefs or unfounded prejudice about the traits and characteristics of each gender potentially influence the outcomes of research studies. Even today, as women have entered into the academic and scientific worlds in significant numbers, research is subject to gender bias. Bias can be present at any stage of the research process and may be difficult to completely eliminate since researchers may not be aware of subtle biases they hold.

The implications of gender bias can be far reaching. As the scientific community uses research study results for subsequent research and the media reports these findings to the public, gender bias can have a huge impact. Society may be making decisions that are based on incorrect, misleading, or biased data. As an example, a majority of early heart disease research was conducted primarily using male subjects leading to the assumption that heart disease was a man’s disease and did not significantly impact women. The gender bias in heart disease research resulted in little attention being paid to women who had heart disease symptoms as well as delays and limitations in the treatment for these symptoms for many years. In reality, it is now common knowledge that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women as it is for men.

This Discussion asks you to think about how gender bias can impact scientific research and how these biases or issues can be addressed.

To prepare

· Search the Walden library for an article or psychological experiment related to gender. (The Psychological Experiments Online database in this week’s Optional Resources is a useful reference to locate experiments.)

· Analyze your article or experiment for evidence of gender-related bias or one of the difficulties in research related to gender (e.g., experimenter effects or participant effects) as noted in the Learning Resources.

By Day 4

Post a brief summary of the article or experiment you selected. Explain the evidence for gender-related bias or difficulties that you identified within the resource. Then, provide suggestions for how the researcher(s) might address these issues.

Please use listed resources to answer question;

Helgeson, V. S. (2017). Psychology of gender (5th ed.). New York, NY: Taylor and Francis.

  • Chapter 2, “Methods and History of Gender      Research” (pp. 36–72)

Eagly, A. H., & Wood, W. (2013). The nature-nurture debates: 25 years of challenges in understanding the psychology of gender. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 8(3), 340–357. doi:10.1177/1745691613484767

Alexander Street. (2017). Psychological experiments online [Online database]. Retrieved from

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