Reviewer Preferences and Gender Disparities in Aesthetic Judgments

:speech_balloon: Speaker: Ida Marie S. Lassen (1), Yuri Bizzoni (1), Telma Peura (1), Mads Rosendahl Thomsen (2) and Kristoffer Nielbo (1)

:classical_building: Affiliation: (1) Center for Humanities Computing Aarhus, Aarhus University, Jens Chr. Skous Vej 4, Building 1483,DK-8000 Aarhus C; (2) School of Communication and Culture - Comparative Literature, Aarhus University, Langelandsgade 139, Building 1580, DK-8000 Aarhus C

Title: Reviewer Preferences and Gender Disparities in Aesthetic Judgments

Abstract: Aesthetic preferences are considered highly subjective resulting in inherently noisy judgments of aesthetic objects, yet certain aspects of aesthetic judgment display convergent trends over time. This paper presents a study that uses literary reviews as a proxy for aesthetic judgment in order to identify systematic components that can be attributed to bias. Specifically, we find that judgments of literary quality differ across media types and display a gender bias. In newspapers, male reviewers have a same-gender preference while female reviewers show an opposite–gender preference. On the other hand, in the blogosphere female reviewers prefer female authors. While alternative accounts exist of this apparent gender disparity, we argue that it reflects a cultural gender antagonism that is necessary to take into account when doing computational assessment of aesthetics.

:newspaper: Link to paper