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Iowa Professors Rake In $248,000 to Study Gender Microaggressions

Creating an environment in which 'minority students feel safe and included allows educating a competitive workforce,' said one professor

Three Iowa State University (ISU) professors are cashing in on the latest progressive grievance industry fad: gender microaggressions.

The National Science Foundation is awarding the researchers $248,744 in taxpayer funds over the next four years to study “Microaggressions in Engineering Programs,” according to a report in Campus Reform.

“I find microaggressions particularly interesting because they are normalized in our everyday life but have significant consequences over time,” engineering professor Cristina Poleacovschi, who is leading the ISU project, told Campus Reform.

“The contribution of this grant is bringing an intersectionality perspective to the concept of microaggressions where we consider the interconnected nature of race and gender,” she continued.

The research, conducted with the assistance of University of Iowa professors Gloria Jones-Johnson and Scott Feinstein, will seek out the feedback of women and minorities about perceived microaggressions, along with the input of white men.

Poleacovschi explained the overarching rationale for the study in a statement to Campus Reform.

“Creating an environment where minority students feel safe and included allows educating a competitive workforce, which will ultimately positively impact our society by incorporating the needs and perspectives of all student groups,” she contended.

Females are in fact expected to account for the majority of college and university students this fall: “About 11.2 million females will attend in fall 2018, compared with 8.7 million males,” the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) noted.

NCES also noted in 2017 that only 18 percent of undergrad computer science degrees go to females.

Furthermore, NCES statistics (updated in 2017) show that whites are not the majority of those who receive bachelor’s degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, which are 17 percent of all degrees awarded. The following is the demographic breakdown:

  • 31 percent Asian
  • 18 percent two or more races
  • 17 percent White
  • 15 percent Pacific Islander
  • 14 percent Hispanic
  • 14 percent American Indian/Alaska Native
  • 11 percent Black

It is an open question as to whether the kind of microaggression research going on at Iowa State University actually promotes usable discoveries, or is merely a nod to the activists who run many of America’s campuses.

While there is a dearth of women who receive degrees in STEM fields, women are clearly the majority of students receiving bachelor’s degrees in the U.S. today.

Related: Apparently There Are 31 Types of ‘Microaggressions’ Against Today’s Atheists

The professors’ first action will be to create a list of individual microaggressions suffered by each individual identity group, according to the grant abstract; today, it’s all about perceived bias.

There is one reliable bias in education that may not show up in the study findings: Never turn down a sizable taxpayer grant to conduct research.

meet the author

Kyle Becker is a content writer and producer with LifeZette.

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