My most recent post on Women in Astronomy about listener bias, conversation dominance, and gender:
After reading about gender-bias and conversation dominance in the classroom, I asked for a peer to observe a physics class I was teaching and keep track of the discussion time I was giving to various students along with their race and gender. In this exercise, I knew I was being observed and I was trying to be extra careful to equally represent all students―but I STILL gave a disproportionate amount of discussion time to the white male students in my classroom (controlling for the overall distribution of genders and races in the class). I was shocked. It felt like I was giving a disproportionate amount of time to my white female and non-white students.
This is a well-studied phenomena and it's called listener bias. We are socialized to think women talk more than they actually do. Listener bias results in most people thinking that women are 'hogging the floor' even when men are dominating.
Read more at Women in Astronomy: http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2014/07/stop-interrupting-me-gender.html
-- Thanks for your comments. There are so many things that people who are in more privileged positions can do to be alias. There are spaces where I hold a privileged position because of my seniority or status, and there are places where I don't. I've really appreciated when people who have a higher status have defended me, supported me, given me an opportunity to speak/do something, or pointed out when I was being treated unfairly. I try to do the same when I have the authority to do so (and sometimes even when I don't).
I find that when it comes to feminism, people who are skeptics can find it hard to hear these things from women because it comes across as self-serving and biased. Some of the most convincing posts on Women in Astronomy have come from men who can speak to why addressing problems like unconscious bias, work-life balance, the gender gap etc. helps everyone and makes for a better work place and community for all.
Cato (for some reason I can't link to you) -- If you want to do some introductory reading about these issues there are lots of posts at http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/ as well as well as http://everydayfeminism.com/
-- Thanks for chiming in. Do you have any studies or reviews I could read about the issue of male/female brains? I would be interested to write about this on the blog and highlight the research and the misconceptions.