Talk:Gender bias on Wikipedia

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prep to update article - 2015 sources & citations[edit]

peer reviewed[edit]

  • Klein, Max, and Piotr Konieczn. "Wikipedia in the World of Global Gender Inequality Indices." Proceedings of the 11th International Symposium on Open Collaboration - OpenSym '15 (2015): n. pag. Web. <>. While Wikipedia's editor gender gap is important but difficult to measure, its biographical gender gap can more readily be measured. We correlate a Wikipedia-derived gender inequality indicator (WIGI), with four widespread gender inequality indices in use today (GDI, GEI, GGGI, and SIGI). Analysing their methodologies and correlations to Wikipedia, we find evidence that Wikipedia's bias in biographical coverage is related to the gender bias in positions of social power.
  • Massa, Paolo, and Zelenkauskaite, Asta. "Gender Gap In Wikipedia Editing: A Cross-Language Comparison". In "Global Wikipedia: International and Cross-Cultural Issues in Online Collaboration" edited by Pnina Fichman and Noriko Hara, 2014. See < > and < > This study compared gender across 289 language editions of Wikipedia. First, we analyzed the extent to which expressing gender is a diffused practice in various Wikipedias. We conclude that the differences in the amount of users expressing their gender can be explained by the differences in the interfaces, both the visibility of gender and the incentive to express it, especially during the process of the new user-profile creation.The second research question focused on the cross-Wikipedia evaluation of the gender gap. Overall results show that there is not a single sociotechnical system in which women constitute the majority, thus confirming that the gender gap is not just present in the English Wikipedia but it is diffused across all language editions of Wikipedia. However, there are notable differences: in some Wikipedias (Slovenian, Estonian, Lithuanian) the percentage of women is close to 40 percent, in others (Bengali, Hindi) it is around 4 percent, while on the English Wikipedia, the chosen baseline given its international nature reaches 17 percent. Notably, languages whose editions of Wikipedia have larger shares of women tend to be spoken in countries with a larger participation of women in science. In conclusion, we observe that, even if Wikipedia is an online system, it reflects the real-world societies that inhabit the different language versions of it, and across languages and countries there are differences in women participation in public life. In particular, given that the context of Wikipedia is about creating knowledge, the best explanatory factor is the participation of women in knowledge-creation activities: the gender gap in different language editions of Wikipedia reflects the gender gap in science across the different countries of the real world. Future research should conduct interviews with Wikipedians to identify benefits and drawbacks of visible gender settings as well as possible techniques that would encourage more diverse populations of these sociotechnical systems. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:34, 25 August 2017 (UTC)

mass media[edit]

  • Many hands make Wikipedia work. (2015, December 10). Sydney Morning Herald [Sydney, Australia], p. 20. Retrieved from We all use Wikipedia. It's hard to avoid. On just about any Google search, Wiki tops the list. Because it's also astoundingly comprehensive, intelligible and reliable, it has become the ubiquitous go-to start point. Yet almost the first research rule our kids learn is Wiki-denial. Read it if you must but, never, honey, never ever admit to it. ... So yes, Wikipedia is flawed. Above all, it needs more female input. But the obvious response, for you-and-me users who encounter something stupid or biased or just plain wrong, is to hop in there and fix it. I'll see you there, yes? Oh, and honey? Cite away!
  • Wikipedia: A bias against women? (2014, Apr 13). The National Retrieved from Prof Bruckner's hope is that having systemic data on the extent and reasons behind bias could mobilise resources to deal with the issue. It might help, she suggests, if universities encouraged staff to become Wikipedia contributors, ensuring important academic work does not get ignored. They could, for example, expand the programmes some of them already run for academics on writing newspaper editorial columns - another area where female writers tend to be heavily outnumbered - to cover Wikipedia contributions. "That is not something we usually do. We're scientists, we're not in the business of marketing our research. We have no training to do this," said Prof Bruckner. She admits she has never contributed to Wikipedia herself. The apparent bias could also be partly redressed by focusing on general initiatives to improve Wikipedia's quality. For Prof Bruckner, the Wikipedia project may also offer pointers about how the value of academic work in general is assessed. "There is the gender issue, but also how people think about scholarship and what's reputable scholarship or not," she said.

from Wikipedia:WikiProject Countering systemic bias/Gender gap task force/Media and research[edit]

extended source list




Art+Feminism edit-a-thon, the Oracle Club, Queens, New York, June 2015



Wikipedia women's meeting in Palafrugell, Spain, March 2015


Art+Feminism edit-a-thon, Madrid, March 2015


I've added a "do not archive until" template to this section since it looks like it's still useful to improve the article. That template can be removed by anyone if I'm wrong, of course. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 13:15, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

Need a more careful nuance when using the word "bias"[edit]

The word "bias" seems to be used in two different ways in this article. Some will conflate the two, but I think they need to be differentiated.

There are indicators that there are more men than women that edit on Wikipedia. This statistical imbalance is called "bias" by some. Since editing Wikipedia is totally voluntary, any "bias" of this sort would seem to be the result of different personal choices by men and women themselves about whether to edit on Wikipedia. Some feel that more women should be encouraged to become involved in editing, though this can also be interpreted as insisting that more women should engage in the same activities as men (this is yet another possible form of bias).

The second form of "bias" referred to in the article is that (some) articles put men in a better light than women, including more articles about men and their activities. This may be partially influenced by having more editors who are men.

As we discuss possible types and results of bias based on the sex of the editors, I think it will be helpful to distinguish these two, separable types of bias. Men should not be ashamed of editing on Wikipedia (even if fewer women do it), but all should be careful to edit respectfully. Pete unseth (talk) 13:37, 26 July 2017 (UTC)

I concur. It is not a "bias", it is a sociological fact. (Women are shorter than men: is it "bias" too?) I found this article where MIT reserchers discovered that women are covered MORE in Wikipedias (all the lang eds studied) than in other sources. I added this finding to the art. Please check if this is so. If it was the case, then WP would be "biased" in favour of women, in fact. Zezen (talk) 08:24, 21 August 2017 (UTC)

Pinging Pete unseth hereby: I have found this great quote which better expresses that bias ≠ gap than I have attempted here:

 Many studies find “gaps,” and reach conclusions that gaps constitute evidence of bias, when, in fact, discrimination is only one of many likely explanations for gaps (see, e.g., my post on Simpson’s Paradox; or Ceci & Williams, 2011, review of sources of the gender gap in science). Some find correlates of gaps around which impressive narratives can be told, without even testing for the existence of discrimination.

Shall we remove this POV "bias" term here then if it is not supported by evidence? Zezen (talk) 08:31, 21 August 2017 (UTC)

The researchers you've cited argue that a closer analysis demonstrates serious bias against women—the source even uses the word "bias". I've adjusted the article to reflect this. —Granger (talk · contribs) 13:12, 21 August 2017 (UTC)

The word "bias" in the title sets an interesting slant to the discussion[edit]

The claim that more men than women edit on Wikipedia could also be discussed under a variety of titles, including "Apathy of women toward Wikipedia", "Preference of women to use Facebook over Wikipedia", "Women biased against Wikipedia". Frankly, I am not proposing any of these as actual article titles, but I hope it does give a new way to view part of the topic.

The claim that editors perceived to be female are subjected to sexist messages is something I have not witnessed after editing 10 years. I am NOT saying it does not happen, only that I have not seen it. (I tend to edit more serious, academic subjects, so I spend more time on articles that attract thoughtful editors. I have encountered obnoxious editors, but never expressing it about gender.) If women editing on Wikipedia have withdrawn because they have encountered rude people, I suggest they continue editing, persevering to improve this wonderful enterprise called Wikipedia. Don't let rude people chase editors off. Pete unseth (talk) 21:55, 27 August 2017 (UTC)

"Bias" is truly not a well-chosen word here. The title could be "Gender imbalance on Wikipedia", for example. --Ajgorhoe (talk) 21:44, 11 September 2017 (UTC)

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