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Rebecca Bigler

Core FacultyPh.D., Pennsylvania State University

Professor in the Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts
Rebecca Bigler



Children's gender roles and attitudes, racial stereotyping


Rebecca S. Bigler is Professor of Psychology and Women’s and Gender
Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Ze received a B.A. from
Oberlin College and Ph.D. from Penn State University before joining
the faculty at UT-Austin in 1991. Ze studies the causes and
consequences of social stereotyping and prejudice among children, with
a particular focus on gender and racial attitudes. Ze has also worked to
develop and test intervention strategies aimed at reducing children’s
social stereotyping and intergroup biases. Hir work has appeared in
top journals in the field of developmental psychology (Monographs of
the Society for Research in Child Development, Developmental
Psychology), and has been covered by major media outlets (Newsweek,
NBC Dateline). Ze is currently the Executive Director of the American
Council for CoEducational Schooling (ACCES) and is a suporter of gender neutral language.

College: Liberal Arts

Home Department: Psychology

Education: Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University

Research interests:Children's gender roles and attitudes, racial stereotyping

Recent Publications:

 Bigler, R. S., & Wright. Y. F. (2014). Reading, writing, arithmetic, and racism? Risks and benefits to teaching children about intergroup biases. Child Development Perspectives, 8, 18-23. DOI: 10.1111/cdep.12057

 Pahlke, E., Bigler, R. S., & Martin, C. L. (2014). Can fostering children’s ability to challenge sexism improve critical analysis, internalization, and enactment of inclusive, egalitarian peer relationships? Journal of Social Issues, 70, 115-133. DOI: 10.1111/josi.12050

Pahlke, E., Bigler, R. S., & Patterson, M. M. (2014). Reasoning about single-sex schooling for girls among students, parents, and teachers. Sex Roles, 14, 261-271. DOI: 10.1007/s11199-014-0410-8

McKenney, S. & Bigler, R. S. (2015). Internalized sexualization and its relation to sexualized appearance, body surveillance, and body shame among early adolescent girls. The Journal of Early Adolescence. DOI: 10.1177/0272431614556889

McKenney, S. & Bigler, R. S. (2015). High heels, low grades: Internalized sexualization and academic orientation among adolescent girls. Journal for Research on Adolescence. DOI: 10.1111/jora.12179


WGS 392 • Rsch Meths Smnr Wom'S/Gend Std

47490 • Spring 2013
Meets TH 930am-1230pm UTC 1.136

This course is designed to prepare graduate students in gender studies and the qualitative social sciences to conduct a research project for their master’s theses or similar projects. We will explore a range of research methods and traditions as well as the epistemological assumptions underlying them. We will consider what it means to conduct “feminist” research, as well as the perils and promise of the more participatory research traditions. Some of the research methods we will explore include interviewing, survey research, case studies, textual analysis, and participant observation.

Media Coverage


KPPC, Southern California Public Radio, Take Two, Alex Cohen. Single-sex schools are unproven as a benefit. January 15, 2016. Listen at:

The Chronicle of Higher Education. Lucy Ferriss. Making categories, breaking categories. March 13, 2016. Available at:


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University. Gendered language and sexist thought. Invited paper presented in Ways with words: Exploring language and gender. March, 2016. Available at:


Hogg Blog—Hogg Foundation for Mental Health | Into the Fold, Episode 12: Rebecca Bigler on Internalized Sexualization in Adolescent Girls

June 25, 2015


Parents Magazine | Raise a Respectful Child 

June 2015 issue


Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE) News | No Girls Allowed: The Single-Sex School Debate

Summer 2015 issue


Huffington Post Live | Are there benefits to single-sex colleges?

March 24, 2015


KUT-Austin | Q & A: The Pros and Cons of Single Sex Education

Dec. 22, 2014


BuzzFeed News | Austin Thinks It Can Save Poor Kids By Separating Boys And Girls 

Dec. 2, 2014


The New York Times |  Talking About Racism With White Kids 

Nov. 25, 2014


The New York Times | Old Tactic Gets New Use: Public Schools Separate Girls and Boys

Nov. 20, 2014


Christian Science Monitor |  Sexy Halloween Costumes for Girls? Study Backs up Concerned Parents

Oct. 31, 2014


Michigan Public Radio | What You Can Learn About Prejudice by Putting Kids in Different Colored Shirts

April 3, 2013


USA Today | Women’s Colleges Struggle to Keep Identity and Enrollment

Aug. 17, 2012


KVUE News | AISD could open all-girls, all-boys schools

Nov. 8, 2011


KAZI 88.7 FM | Talk Time with Richard Smith

Oct. 23, 2011


KAZI 88.7 FM | The Wakeup Call with Richard Smith

Oct. 21, 2011


KTBC/Fox 7 News | Are Sex-Segregated Schools Effective?

Oct. 11, 2011


KXAN News | UT Study on Single-Sex Education

Oct. 9, 2011


Good Day Austin, Morning Show, Fox News | AISD and Single-Sex Campuses


KUT-Austin | Austin School Board to Debate Single-Sex Schools Tonight


Austin American Statesmen | Girls Schools Like Ann Richards Scrutinized In Academic Paper

Oct. 7, 2011


Dateline NBC | Are Purses Just for Girls?

March 2011


Newsweek | “Is Your Baby Racist?”

Sept. 14, 2009


Good Morning America, ABC News | Confronting Tough Issues of Race

Dec. 5, 2006

Former Graduate Students

Christia Spears Brown (Ph.D. 2003)

Dr. Brown is currently Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Kentucky. She studies social stereotyping and prejudice, children's perceptions of discrimination, and the development of ethnic identity. She is also interested in the experiences of immigrant children and interventions designed to reduce stereotyping and prejudice. For more information, visit

Erica S. Weisgram (Ph.D. 2006)

Dr. Weisgram is currently Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin Steven's Point. Her work examines the role of gender and gender-related cognitions (e.g., stereotypes, beliefs, values) in shaping children's personal interests, including toy preferences, academic interests, and occupational goals. She also studies girls’ and women’s interest in nontraditional (e.g., STEM) occupations. For more information, visit

Meagan Patterson (Ph.D. 2007)

Dr. Patterson is currently Assistant Professor of Psychology and Research in Education at the University of Kansas. Her research focuses on the roles of environmental and organismic factors in the formation of intergroup attitudes. She examines children's integration of views of the self and social groups, and its consequences for developmental outcomes (identity, peer relations, interests). For more information, visit

Julie Milligan Hughes (Ph.D. 2008)

Dr. Hughes is currently Assistant Professor of Psychology at The College of New Jersey. Her work examines children's and adolescents' knowledge, attitudes, and reasoning about race, especially racial discrimination and inequality. She also examines predictors of individuals' views of race-related educational and legal policies. Her dissertation was awarded the Annette Urso Rickel Award for Dissertation in Public Policy. For more information, visit 

Erin Pahlke  (Ph.D. 2009)

Dr. Pahlke is currently Assistant Professor of Psychology at Whitman College. Her work addresses three broad questions: (1) How do children and adolescents form their views of race and gender? (2) What are the consequences of children’s and adolescents’ views of race and gender? and (3) What is the impact of experiences with racial and gender diversity on youth’s academic and socio-emotional outcomes?  For more information, visit

Recent Publications

Hughes, J. M., & Bigler, R. S. (2011). Predictors of African American and European American adolescents’ endorsement of race-conscious social policies. Developmental Psychology, 47, 479-492.

Halpern, D. F., Eliot, L., Bigler, R. S., Fabes, R. A., Hanish, L. D., Hyde, J., Liben, L. S., & Martin, C. L. (2011). The pseudoscience of single-sex schooling. Science, 333, 1706-1707.

Pahlke, E., Bigler, R. S., & Suizzo, M. (2012). Relations between colorblind socialization and children’s racial bias: Evidence from European American mothers and their preschool children. Child Development, 83, 1164-1179.

Patterson, M. M., Pahlke, E., & Bigler, R. S. (2013). Witnesses to history: Children’s views of race and the 2008 United States presidential election. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 13, 186-210. DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-2415.2012.01303.x

Hayes, A. R., & Bigler, R. S. (2013). Gender-related values, perceptions of discrimination, and mentoring in STEM graduate training. International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology, 5, 254-280.

Bigler, R. S., & Wright. Y. F. (2014). Reading, writing, arithmetic, and racism? Risks and benefits to teaching children about intergroup biases. Child Development Perspectives, 8, 18-23.

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