Headlines 2018

Grading: Women disadvantaged at university and men at earlier age

2018-08-24


Anonymously corrected exams result in higher grades for women than for men. This is the result of a study by researchers Björn Tyrefors, IFN, and Joakim Jansson, Stockholm University and IFN. The research also shows that the overall effect of an anonymization reform can only be partly explained by male teachers being a majority among university teachers.

Previous research has shown gender bias, against boys, in grading in high school and elementary school - where the majority of teachers are women. Tyrefors and Jansson have now studied how the introduction of anonymously corrected examinations at Stockholm University during fall of 2009 affected the differences between men’s and women's grades.

Women benefit from being assessed anonymously, indicating a gender bias against women at universities, unlike in primary and secondary school. The researchers found that a part of this effect can stem from higher grades being given by a teacher of the same gender when examinations are not anonymous. However, the male dominance of the teachers correcting the exams can explain, at most, 20 percent of the overall improvement in women's grades.

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