Project Title

Do Students’ Beliefs about Gender Relate to their Performance in a Gender Course?

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Psychological Science

Faculty Sponsor Name

Jennifer Willard

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Given the increase in awareness concerning diversity in the United States, it is important to understand how diversity-related beliefs relate to students’ performance in an academic setting. Previous researchers have found that student beliefs concerning diversity are primarily focused on race and culture (Littleford, 2013). This may be changing as movements like #MeToo raise awareness of gender-related issues, which may increase the relevance of courses like Psychology of Gender. However, students’ prior beliefs may impact how they navigate and perform in gender-related classes. The goal of the current study was to determine whether there were significant relationships between different types of gendered beliefs (i.e. gender roles, rape myths, sexism, and feminism) and students’ academic performance in an undergraduate-level Psychology of Gender course. Twenty-nine students in two online sections of Psychology of Gender completed measures related to gender, along with three exams. Correlational analyses indicated that only some subscales of sexism and feminism were significantly related to average exam performance. Overall, our results generally demonstrate that prior beliefs were largely unrelated to performance; thus, suggesting that most students regardless of beliefs have a similar chance of succeeding in the course.

Project Type

Poster

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Do Students’ Beliefs about Gender Relate to their Performance in a Gender Course?

Given the increase in awareness concerning diversity in the United States, it is important to understand how diversity-related beliefs relate to students’ performance in an academic setting. Previous researchers have found that student beliefs concerning diversity are primarily focused on race and culture (Littleford, 2013). This may be changing as movements like #MeToo raise awareness of gender-related issues, which may increase the relevance of courses like Psychology of Gender. However, students’ prior beliefs may impact how they navigate and perform in gender-related classes. The goal of the current study was to determine whether there were significant relationships between different types of gendered beliefs (i.e. gender roles, rape myths, sexism, and feminism) and students’ academic performance in an undergraduate-level Psychology of Gender course. Twenty-nine students in two online sections of Psychology of Gender completed measures related to gender, along with three exams. Correlational analyses indicated that only some subscales of sexism and feminism were significantly related to average exam performance. Overall, our results generally demonstrate that prior beliefs were largely unrelated to performance; thus, suggesting that most students regardless of beliefs have a similar chance of succeeding in the course.