Sunday, October 11, 2009

Gender-Dumb Graduate Applications

I was very disappointed in some of my prospective graduate schools for their insensitivity on their applications. Two of the schools that I am applying to require you to list your gender; the options they provide are “male” or “female.” Since I deliberately chose these schools for their progressive attitudes, I was shocked by their wording and limited options.

If they are asking for an individual’s biological sex that may possibly be answered with “male” or “female,” they should ask for “sex” and not “gender.” Also, why are the only options “male” and “female”? I would at least expect them to have the option of “other” listed; but even listing “other” as opposed to “male” or “female” is off-putting.

I don’t even really understand why schools need to know your gender or sex before you apply. I do understand that statistical information is nice to have, but why can’t this information be collected after the applicant is accepted? I think that not indicating a gender or sex allows for the focus to be the actual application, not on how an applicant will make the university look statistically.

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