Summary: Apparently the most statistically significant factor in not receiving a reply was being Asian, then it was being a woman. It serves these students right who were foolish enough to choose the wrong family before their birth. Totally their fault.
Which subgroups had it the worst is this study? Chinese women and Indian men.
The study by Milkman, K.L., M. Akinola, and D. Chugh, “What Happens Before? A Field Experiment Exploring How Pay and Representation Differentially Shape Bias on the Pathway into Organizations,” was featured in the Journal of Applied Psychology. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/04/24/study-finds-faculty-members-are-more-likely-respond-white-males-others)
Here’s the abstract:
Little is known about how discrimination manifests before individuals formally apply to organizations or how it varies within and between organizations. We address this knowledge gap through an audit study in academia of over 6,500 professors at top U.S. universities drawn from 89 disciplines and 259 institutions.
In our experiment, professors were contacted by fictional prospective students seeking to discuss research opportunities prior to applying to a doctoral program. Names of students were randomly assigned to signal gender and race (Caucasian, Black, Hispanic, Indian, Chinese), but messages were otherwise identical. We hypothesized that discrimination would appear at the informal “pathway” preceding entry to academia and would vary by discipline and university as a function of faculty representation and pay.
We found that when considering requests from prospective students seeking mentoring in the future, faculty were significantly more responsive to Caucasian males than to all other categories of students, collectively, particularly in higher-paying disciplines and private institutions.
Counterintuitively, the representation of women and minorities and discrimination were uncorrelated, a finding that suggests greater representation cannot be assumed to reduce discrimination. This research highlights the importance of studying decisions made before formal entry points into organizations and reveals that discrimination is not evenly distributed within and between organizations.
The Bias for White Men
InsideHigherEd.com reported this relying in part on this same study.
The responding faculty gave no indication of personally holding racial biases. Indeed if ever there were a population that would consciously try to avoid racial discrimination, this would be it. The responding faculty would likely deny themselves to be racist individuals, believe it, and yet produce a decidedly discriminatory result, cutting sharply along racial lines.
Does this sound familiar? In the discussion about attractiveness and race, when polling individual persons for racial biases, they could honestly report truthfully that they did not hold any in their conscious mind. And yet the same discriminatory result, cutting along racial lines, occurs. No wants to believe that they are trying but failing in their inclusion of people from diverse backgrounds. No one likes knowing that they have been sexually isolating and victimizing members of their family or community – actively or complicitly.
But the numbers are in and the voices are out – LGBTQ, black women, Asian men, and more – our sexual identities were kidnapped and violated. Even today the violating continues. Words of derision, immobilizing stereotypes, sexual deprivation, and a crass public discourse.
And here’s the thing… let’s say I agree about every factual stereotype about Asian or black folks as true. Okay, so what are you trying to do? Or does society need a racial hierarchy in place so badly that we have television shows that our kids watch that effectively mock and judge their sexuality.
It is not okay to taunt a 6-year-old about his or her genitals. Really.
You think kids just blank out when adults talk about sex? They don’t. I have been hearing and internalizing degrading beliefs about my own masculinity since I could understand American media.
What’s so important that you have to be sexually traumatizing little boys to make your point? A monoracial paradise? How supreme whiteness is?