Conservatives have long suspected there is discrimination against conservative professors in academia, and now there is evidence to prove it. Sociology professor Neil Gross, a self-described liberal, reveals the results of surveys showing this bias in his new book, Why Professors are Liberal and Why do Conservatives Care?
Sociologist George Yancy asked professors if they would be more or less likely to hire someone if they were a Republican, evangelical or fundamentalist. Three-quarters said political affiliation would not affect their hiring decision. But the one-quarter that did say it would influence their decision virtually all said they would favor a Democrat over a Republican. Almost half of the sociology professors surveyed said they would look unfavorably upon evangelicals and fundamentalists trying to get a job in their department!
In a 2005 survey, researcher Gary Tobin asked professors how favorably or unfavorably they felt about various religious groups. Fifty-three percent of academics responded that they regard evangelicals unfavorably. The next highest unfavorable rating was 33 percent regarding Mormons.
Professor Gross performed his own “audit study,” sending in fake applications to upper academia at universities around the country. One set of applicants, the control group, had nothing political listed on their resumes. The other two sets of applicants indicated they had either worked on the McCain or Obama 2008 presidential campaigns. He found, “On average, the DGSs (directors of graduate studies) responded less frequently, more slowly, and less enthusiastically to the conservative applicant.”
The average professor is three times as liberal as the average American, and academia is even more liberal now than it was in the 1960s. Gross provides evidence indicating that feminism greatly increased the drift of college faculty to the left, in every field except engineering. Today, 63 percent of female academics describe themselves as feminists. Seventy-three percent of academics describe themselves as moderates, liberals or radical leftists. Gross admits, “…it would be foolish for anyone with truly antifeminist sensibilities to become a sociologist,” due to how liberal that field has become. The Sex and Gender Section is the second largest section in the American Sociological Association. New departments have emerged like Women’s Studies where conservatives would not even bother applying.