The team of academics from the Paris Institute of Political Studies and the University of California, Berkeley, analyzed five years of evaluation data from a French university and from a 2014 study of one semester of an online course based in the United States. At the French campus, about 40 percent of instructors were women. In the U.S., students in two course sections were led to believe they were being taught by a man, and in the other two, by a woman.
At the French university, male students overwhelmingly rated male instructors higher than they rated female instructors, particularly in subjects such as history, economics, and political science. There was no statistically significant difference in female students’ ratings.
Meanwhile, at the university in the U.S., researchers found that female students tended to rate male instructors higher than their female counterparts. Female students said the teachers they thought were male were more fair, enthusiastic, respectful, and professional, and that they provided more helpful feedback. The data for male students didn’t show a statistically significant difference in ratings.