Gendered Language in Rate My Professor Reviews

data visualization has been created to allow users to “explore the words used to describe male and female teachers in about 14 million reviews from RateMyProfessor.com”.

Try searching words like “shrill”, “clothes”, “funny”, or “sexy” and see what happens to the gender distributions in general and to the position of philosophy in particular.

8 thoughts on “Gendered Language in Rate My Professor Reviews

  1. Love it that philosophy jumps to the top for “clothes”, since clearly appearances are the most important thing in our field.

  2. After playing around with this for a while:

    Biggest gender differences I see: “arrogant,” “genius”, “helpful”, “smokin”, “cool”, “funny”, “sexy”, “bossy”, “loser”, “moron”, “old”, “wonderful”, “person”, “jerk”, “humorous”, “beautiful”
    Smallest gender differences: “enthusiastic”, “friendly”, “good”, “hot”, “bad”, “terrible”, “stupid”, “weird”, “incompetent”*, “shoes”, “thoughtful”, “reasonable”, “incredible”, “difficult”, “exciting”
    *FWIW, If you misspell incompetent, the gender difference is even smaller.

    Graphs where philosophy sticks out: “rational”, “brilliant”, “wise”, “attractive” (all with positive filter)

    Surprising findings:
    –women are called “amazing” more often than men are, but men are called “awesome” slight more often.
    –the graph for “annoying” looks really weird
    –the difference in the graphs between “female” and “male”

  3. Super interesting! “Smart,”intelligent,” “brilliant,” and “wise” apparently show up more in philosophy ratings than in other disciplines (except poli sci for the first). A gender gap in both, but it’s also just striking that these seem to students somehow more apt as go-to terms for evaluating faculty in philosophy than other disciplines.

  4. Men are *universally* more knowledgeable, intelligent, smart, brilliant, wise, just, interesting (as well as boring); almost universally more logical and sexy; and universally *way* more arrogant, funny, and humorous.
    Women are universally more supportive, just short of universally more angry, threatening, unfair (as well as fair), crazy, vindictive, incompetent.
    ‘Competent’ and ‘educated’ are shared pretty equally, with men more competent and educated in philosophy.
    SIGH.
    The good news is:
    ***Women are more rational in philosophy!***

  5. Female faculty are rated higher on “clear,” “clarity,” “available,” “friendly,” “caring,” “supportive,” and “helpful.” I find this compelling since these are all good traits teachers should have. And believe it or not, women also win on being “tough.”

  6. If I’m reading this correctly, these data are only for the gender of the instructor. I’d really love to see how this breaks down by gender of the student filling out the reviews. e.g., are men students more likely to use particular words in the evaluation of women faculty? etc.

  7. Men are more weird, with women more strict.

    In a recent discussion with an acquaintance, I have been stressing that women are more criticized for being “not nice”. (I doubt that will surprise anyone here.) So I looked at “rude” and related notions. Guess what? The women have it.

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