ERIC Number: ED328610
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Gender Bias and Fairness. ERIC Digest.
Childs, Ruth Axman
A brief introduction to the topic of gender bias and fairness in testing is provided. A test is biased if men and women with the same ability levels tend to obtain different scores. The conditions under which a test is administered, the wording of individual test items, and a student's attitude toward the test can affect test results. While gender bias is a characteristic of the test itself, gender fairness refers to the ways test results are used. Detection of gender bias involves checking questions for: references that may be offensive to members of one gender; references to objects that are more familiar to men or to women; and unequal representation of men and women as actors or representation of members of each gender only in stereotyped roles. Gender bias assessments are particularly important for aptitude and achievement tests. Determining whether test results are being used fairly requires examination of the organizational policies that determine how test results are used. This latter issue is illustrated with a court case ("Sharif v. New York State Education Department") concerning the use of SAT scores as sole determinants of scholarship awards. A four-item list of additional reading materials is included. (TJH)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Tests, Measurement, and Evaluation, Washington, DC.; American Institutes for Research, Washington, DC.
Identifiers: ERIC Digests; New York; Scholastic Aptitude Test