There’s no doubt that some teachers have favorite students and treat them differently than others, but according to a new study it turns out students also treat teachers differently, depending on their gender. An Eastern Washington University study found that students are more likely to ask female professors for favors, like deadline extensions or grade increases, than they would male professors.
The study looked data from both the teachers’ and the students’ point of view. One part looked at info from 88 surveyed professors and determined that female teachers got more favor requests than male teachers, possibly because they are friendlier with students, or appear more approachable. Meanwhile, the second part looked at data from 121 college students. They discovered that regardless of performance, if a student felt entitled to academic success they’d go to a female professor for extra favors, and wouldn’t take it well if they didn’t get it. Male professors were less likely to get asked for such favors, and students wouldn’t continue to nag them if they didn’t get it.
And while it may seem like a good thing that female teachers seem approachable, it turns out being asked for such favors can take an emotional toll on women. Researcher Amani El-Alayli adds, “Aside from contributing to burnout and taking time away from career-enhancing activities, greater demands and special requests from students may affect female professors’ career advancement by causing them to get less favorable course evaluations or even more complaints filed against them.”
Source: New York Post