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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

ISSN Print: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering


pages 207-223

TESTING THE DOUBLE BIND HYPOTHESIS: FACULTY RECOMMENDATIONS OF MINORITY WOMEN FELLOWSHIP APPLICANTS

Shirley Vining Brown
Computer Science, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC

ABSTRACT

This paper examines the faculty and scientists' recommendations of applicants to the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Graduate Fellowship Program, spanning the years from 1976 to 1991. The data are from the Cumulative Index on National Science Foundation Fellowships Applicants and Awardees (Cl). Ordinary Least Squares regression analysis of fellowship Reference Report scores is used to test the double bind hypothesh that minority women are doubly disadvantaged simply because they are both minorities and women. The findings generally support the double bind hypothesis: being a minority significantly lowered the Reference Report ratings of women NSF applicants and being a woman significantly lowered the Reference Report ratings of minority applicants. Support also was found for the identifiabilily construct of the double bind hypothesis that certain women who, by virtue of their appearance or language, are unmistakable as minorities and impact faculty recommendations in a manner distinct from nonidentifiable minority women. Compared to white women and minority men, being a Black, Puerto Rican, and other Hispanic woman significantly lowered faculty/scientists' recommendations. Implications for policy and further research directions are offered.