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ABSTRACT. Students’ views of mentors have been examined, but over the past 30 years there has been a dramatic increase in both female students and faculty in psychology. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there were sex differences in mentoring. Two hundred twenty-seven undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students completed a 58-item questionnaire assessing whether they had mentors, and the characteristics and perceptions of their mentors. 48% of the students had mentors. Analyses included chi-square tests of independence and analyses of variance. The probability of having a mentor, or satisfaction with the mentor, did not differ by sex of the student/mentee. Students reported that female mentors were more likely to seek out students, and that male mentors were more likely to be selected because their research was interesting. Male and female students did not differ in the likelihood of having a mentor, nor did graduates and undergraduates differ in the likelihood of having a mentor as function of their sex. However, female mentors were more likely to have female mentees, and male mentors were more likely to have male mentees. The findings are encouraging and provide evidence that psychology has adapted well to the shift from a male- to a female-dominated profession.

Keywords: mentoring; sex differences; psychology; students; mentor satisfaction

How to cite: Cronan, Terry, Charles Van Liew, Lauren McKinley, and Nicole Marr (2019). “Does the Sex of Mentors and Students Affect Students’ Perceptions of Research Mentors?,” Journal of Research in Gender Studies 9(2): 9–24. doi:10.22381/JRGS9220191

Received 1 January 2019 • Received in revised form 2 May 2019
Accepted 11 May 2019 • Available online 25 May 2019

Terry Cronan
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Psychology Department,
San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA
(corresponding author)
Charles Van Liew
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College of Health Solutions,
Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA
Lauren McKinley
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Psychology Department,
San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA
Nicole Marr
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Psychology Department,
San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA

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