Generalized and individual bias in the evaluation of the work of women: Sexism in Australia


Behavioural Science Programme, D.D.I.A.E., P.O. Darling Heights, Toowoomba, Queensland 4350.


A sample of 235 tertiary students was tested to investigate generalized and individual sex bias in judging the value of eight paintings which were randomly attributed to either male or female artists. No overall bias against women emerged, but subjects consistently gave lower ratings to female artists when their work was described as having won a competition. For works described merely as entrants, the opposite was found. Individual sexism scores were calculated to reflect comparative preference for the works attributed to male or female artists. Reliability and validity data on these scores were gathered. The scores were found to have little relationship to sex role self-descriptions or personal value systems. The findings were discussed in relation to previous work, cultural ideology relating to sex and gender differences and social change.