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This Is Who College-Aged Men Think are Smartest in Class

legally blonde gender bias classroom

Now we know gender bias doesn't just exist in the workplace.

A study from the University of Washington published in PLOS ONE surveyed approximately 1,700 students in three biology courses. The study found that young men overestimated the academic performance of their male peers, even over better-performing female students.

Young men gave more credit to their male classmates by almost a full GPA point, meaning young men in the classroom consistently believed their fellow men were better students than the women in the class.

On the other hand, young women in the classroom gave other fellow female students a GPA increase of about 0.04 — too small to show any gender preference in the study.

"The male nominators' gender bias is 19 times the size of the female nominators'," said Dan Grunspan, the anthropologist who conducted the study.

"For 18 years, these [young men] have been socialized to have this bias," he said in an interview adding being a man "is some kind of boost."

The study also defined "classroom celebrities," or the students with the most classmate recognition. In one class, the male classroom celebrity received 52 nominations from fellow students, while the female classroom celebrity received only nine.

So it seems some young men about to enter the workforce have an unconscious bias: overestimating their own gender.

Watch MAKER Sheryl Sandberg explain how you can recognize these unconscious biases in the workplace during a special presentation at The 2016 MAKERS Conference.

NEXT: The 2016 MAKERS Conference: Sheryl Sandberg and Lori Goler »

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