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Debunking Claims of Gender Bias

 Independent Women's Forum 

April 2001 

Debunking Claims of Gender Bias 

Two New Special Reports by Patricia Hausman

 If you've cruised the IWF website recently, you may have come across two new works by National Advisory Board member Dr. Patricia Hausman. Widely covered in such media outlets as the Boston Globe, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Harvard Crimson, both of her reports have taken on myths of gender bias in education and shot them full of holes with facts. 

In Confession Without Guilt, Hausman returns to the controversial admission of gender bias at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In March 1999, a group of disgruntled female faculty, led by Dr. Nancy Hopkins of the biology department, went public with claims of systematic sex discrimination against female faculty, and in response, the school increased the salaries of some female professors and took other actions to remedy alleged discrimination. The IWF criticized the MIT gender study in December of 1999 with a report by Judith Kleinfeld pointing out the lack of data to substantiate the claims. In this new report, Hausman and Dr. James H. Steiger from the University of British Columbia show that because of a disparity in productivity levels among older male and female faculty members, there was some legitimacy to differences in salary levels and lab facilities. 

In Plenty of Nonsense, Hausman critiques the final report of the Commission for the Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science, Engineering and Technology (CAWMSET), also known as the Morella Commission. Congress created the two-year commission in 1998 as a response to dubious feminist reports on the lack of female opportunities in the sciences. Hausman points out that the commission's final report demeans women by portraying them as helpless victims rather than as accomplished individuals who have made great strides in many scientific fields. 

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