Assistant Professor Sarah Khan has a new article in Political Science and Politics entitled “Field Experiments on Gender: Where the Personal and Political Collide”.
The use of experimental methods to study questions of gender and politics has increased dramatically in the past decade. As research that uses a deductive hypothesis-testing framework, these studies derive value from the idea of their objectivity and neutrality. Yet, reality is far more complex. This article argues that researchers conducting field experimental work on gender topics should confront their own normative commitments to produce empirically rigorous research of the highest standard with empathy and integrity. We explore how and why researchers’ gender politics matter and offer a way forward to reflect on how one’s own values shape a research project. We contend that recognizing and engaging with one’s own normative commitments and politics create the conditions for the most rigorous work.