Gender biased coursework?

Posted in: Athena SWAN, Teaching

Is my 2nd year coursework sexist?

See here and here and here for the background, 2014 analysis and the 2014+2015 analysis.

As part of a drive to remove the gender imbalance in the sciences the Department of Physics at Bath is involved with the AthenaSWAN program. One item of note from the analysis of the degree outcome (sorry I can't find a link for that) has a slight (and perhaps statistically insignificant) imbalance in the degree outcome and gender. So the questions I wish to address here is was the coursework I set sexist? It is heavily based on the maths of quantum physics, and was so abstract as to have, to my mind, no gender implications.

The data:

Here are three sets of graphs for the combined 2014 + 2015 cohort, for males, females and all students.



What we see:

  • Our women students are more likely to submit the coursework.
  • The exam mark boost attained by completing the coursework was, to a large degree, consistent for women and for men.


  • The coursework is indeed gender neutral

Posted in: Athena SWAN, Teaching


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