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Gender and Research

Gender and Research

Author: Paul Hannan

Differentiate between the various gender-based issues that can impact research.

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Source: Intro Music by Mark Hannan; Public Domain Images from; Pulic Domain

Video Transcription

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Welcome to this episode of Sociology: Studies of Society. Today's lesson is on gender and research. As always, don't be afraid to pause, stop, rewind, or even fast forward to make sure you get the most out of this tutorial.

So today, we're looking at gender and research. So just when you think about that, gender, why is that important? OK, well, of course, we're looking at males and females.

So the first way to start looking at this is understanding the two different perspectives that could be possible that we want to avoid as sociologists. And the first one is androcentricity, and that's only taking a male perspective on an issue. The second one is gynocentricity. So that's only taking a female perspective on an issue. Now, sociologists really want to avoid falling into either of these categories, but it's important to kind of know those terms so you can say that something is a little androcentric, saying it's a little leaning towards the male perspective, not really taking into account the female perspective on an issue.

Now, another way to look at gender and research is the idea of overgeneralization. Now, overgeneralization is when you misuse data to draw conclusions about all people. So for example here, we have at the top of the screen there those three guys. They were part of a study. And we're going to generalize and say that all the people underneath have a similar feeling to those three guys. Now, maybe that's just a generalization. That's what sociologists do. But it's a good example of overgeneralization.

So we have that group of three guys again that we conduced this study on. Now, how are we generalizing the experience of just those males to see that all the group below, which is males and females? it's a misuse. We don't know for sure that that male experience is going to be the same as the males and females.

Now, another term to understand here is gender blindness. Now, this is when researchers overlook gender. Now, at first, this might sound like a good thing. You're saying, oh, well, we're gender blind. We're not looking at gender, that's good. Now, the issue is when you overlook gender, it's saying that gender is an important factor that you need to account for when looking at sociology. And if you just ignore it and pretend it's not there, you're actually missing a big piece of the picture. That's gender blindness.

Another thing when considering gender and research is double standards. Now, double standards is another term that can be applied outside of just gender, and it's when you're applying two different standards for two different groups that are similar groups. So in gender and research, a typical example would be saying, these are the standards for males. We have these expectations of them and their actions, and we have a weaker, lesser standard for the females. And that's example of a double standard.

Now, another way gender and research interact is with interference. Now, interference is when the reactions to the sex of the researcher causes interference. So this slide is organized that we have the researchers on the left, and they're asking questions of the people on the right. And sometimes a male is going to react differently to a female asking questions versus a female asking questions of a female. And interferences when that interaction there can interfere with what's going on. And so it makes the research not as sound as it should be.

So today's takeaway message, androcentricity is taking only a male perspective on an issue, and gynocentricity is taking only a female perspective on an issue. Overgeneralization is when you misuse data to draw conclusions about all people.

Gender blindness is when you overlook gender when you're researching. And a double standard is having a different standard for two very similar groups. And then interferences when their reactions to the sex of the researcher interferes with the results.

So that's it for this lesson. Good work, and hopefully you'll be seeing me on your screen again soon. Peace.

Terms to Know

A focus on the male or on the male perspective.

Double Standard

Having two different standards for similar groups of people.

Gender Blindness

Overlooking or ignoring the role that gender plays in social life.


A focus on the female or on the female perspective.


Occurs when the sex of the researcher interferes with the data collection process.


Speaking about an entire population when you only have knowledge of a part.