Sex Discrimination: Effect of Sex-Role Incongruence, Evaluator Sex, and Stereotypes

The prevalence of sex discrimination in the work place is undeniable. People read about it the papers, watch it in the news, or even experience it in their respective jobs. In order to better understand some existing conditions that affect sex discrimination, Eugenia Proctor Gerdes and Jane Hutson Kelman, both from Bucknell University decided to study sex discrimination based on incongruence, evaluator sex, and stereotypes. Using different tools to measure the relevance of each of the variables presented and using the results of these tools to check the significances, same-sex favoritism was obtained.

This was evident in the higher rating of the male in the masculine jobs, which also follows suit in its female counterpart. Personally, the introduction was rather technical. Although it gave an extensive perspective of the entire study, it appeared technical and may be quite incomprehensible to those who lack the knowledge about the subject on hand. The problem was explained well but the real-life purpose of the study including its significance in the workplace was also missing in the introduction.

However, when the reader has existing knowledge about the topic or the research method in general, it may be said that the introduction encapsulates the essence of the entire study. Eugenia Proctor Gerdes and Jane Hutson Kelman wanted to know the effects of several sex and sex-typing variables which may limit conditions for sex discrimination. Purposely, they wanted to know the conditions that may impede or aggravate sexual discrimination in the workplace.

These seem quite reasonable and highly relevant since according to some sources used and cited in the study, only limited studies and researches exist that may explain exactly what the study wishes to know. The related literature used in the study also note the limited number of scholarly researches and studies that specifically study the conditions that may hinder or worsen sexual discrimination against women. The literature review used in the study based on the citations and references indicate its relevance to the issue being studied.

The relevance of the different researches and publications were more even more relevant as these were related to the hypotheses proposed by the study. In a way, it can be inferred that the literature review gave both Eugenia Proctor Gerdes and Jane Hutson Kelman a clearer and more definite path. The extensive list of references and the long list of names cited would give the readers an idea that indeed the researches thoroughly read through these reviews to come up with firm and sound hypotheses. However, one can also clearly see that most, if not all, of the materials used based on citations are quite dated.

Although one of the rules in research is to make sure that current material and publications should be used, one can still use dated materials as long as the information contained in these publications still hold true to this day; or there are no more available information or resources about the topic on hand. Based on the citations found in the article, one can say that the literature and the pieces of information included in the study are still relevant to this day. Thus, despite its outdated nature, one can still assume that these pieces of information are significant.

The research design was not formally stated in the article. However, considering the nature of the study and the methodologies used to obtain data, one can say that the study is an experimental one. It is also evident how the tests were given and how the situations were manipulated to come up with the desired results. The subjects used were students from Bucknell University who voluntarily took part in a subject pool. Initially, 106 subjects were asked to answer questionnaires supposedly about attitudes. After deliberating and checking the questionnaires. 80 respondents were chosen and classified into four smaller groups.

They were tasked to rate a male or female candidate, and their answers yielded matched groups. These steps may already be enough to infer the objectivity of the study. The pupils who were simply chosen because they were part of the subject pool, the creation of the matched groups, which were then utilized to elicit information using the discrimination measure, all work together to avoid bias. Since Eugenia Proctor Gerdes and Jane Hutson Kelman’s research method tried to rid off all possible biases, the number of respondents / subjects can already be regarded as sufficient.

It might have been better, however, if more respondents were used in the study. This would make the study even more reliable. Although the article includes a clear presentation of the results, it does not discuss the reliability and the validity of the instruments used as deeply as possible. The reliability coefficients obtained both in the feminine job items and in the masculine job items are indicative that the elicited total feminine job score and the total masculine job score are acceptable representations of the different items in each category.

The procedures and instruments were thoroughly discussed throughout the article. However, the operational definitions of the variables were not discussed as thoroughly as the procedures and instruments were. Although it would be possible to replicate the study, the would be researched might be able to use the procedures and tools as used in the said study but should concentrate more on coming up with clearer operational definitions. The future researchers may also de-limit the terms used and tailor-fit it to the study that they have in mind.

Eugenia Proctor Gerdes and Jane Hutson Kelman’s study about sex discrimination has been well thought off and thoroughly executed. This only means that they also carefully planned and thought about which tools to use and which statistical tests to treat test results with. The Analysis of Variance was used to analyze the differences between the respondents’ answers which may then be used to infer whether or not these discrepancies are significant or insignificant in trying to answer the study’s hypotheses. The ANOVA was used several times and was employed comparing the variances between the different factors being studied.

The use of the ANOVA proved to be relevant to understand the discrepancies between respondents’ answers and how they affect the factors being studied. It can also be seen that the reliability was also computed for; this makes the research more credible and reliable. The statistical data gathered through the course of the study and its subjection to the said statistical method then elicited the conclusions from which the recommendations were founded. Indeed, the findings of the said research are quite overwhelming and may serve as an eye opener to both males and females alike.

However, the discussion of the results obtained in the study was quite filled with technical jargon which lay people may find hard to understand. In the same manner, one can already infer the implications of the results of the study. But these are not stated in terms which the public can easily understand. Although the discussion of the findings was presented accurately and clearly, one cannot help but notice its “academic” quality which somehow only offers itself to those confined in learning institutions and those with a background in statistics and psychology.

It probably would have been better if the researchers decided on a less “academic” approach in presenting the implications of their study by translating the findings into daily and practical application such as its importance in the field of human resources, personnel management, and job evaluations and satisfaction. The conclusions, however, are indeed supported by the data that has been presented.

They clearly answer the hypotheses presented earlier on and are supported by the related literature used and cited, and the statistical tools employed to analyze the differences of respondents’ answers. It is apparent that the authors did a satisfactory job of remaining unbiased and objective throughout the course of study, considering the existing stereotypes and how these may be used as a further focus of research to come up with a more detailed and a credible tool that may eventually measure the severity of given or known factors that affect sexual discrimination against both men and women.

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