MIXED METHODS STUDY TO INVESTIGATE SEXIST EXPERIENCES ENCOUNTERED BY UNDERGRADUATE GEOSCIENCE STUDENTS (Invited Presentation)
Our mixed methods approach allowed us to gather in-depth data about the gendered experiences encountered by female students and to examine statistical trends across a large sample of participants. We collected quantitative survey data from several hundred students. The survey data examined the extent to which students encountered gender discrimination in the departments. Through interviews, we also collected qualitative data from 80 students and 35 faculty members to explore the types of sexism female students encountered. Quantitative and qualitative data results confirm that female students encountered sexism in all six departments. Qualitative data show that female students experienced sexism from faculty and other students and that two types of sexism were encountered: hostile and benevolent. Hostile sexism was most prevalent at sites with a lower percentage of female undergraduate degrees conferred and least prevalent at sites with a higher percentage of female undergraduate degrees conferred. Although the rate of sexist experiences seemed to decline as the number of female students increased, hostile experiences still occurred, potentially affecting long-term retention of female students in geoscience after graduation. Efforts to reduce sexist experiences are needed even in disciplines, like geoscience, that have made strides to increase the percentage of women.