Alternate Title

Stereotypes, Sexism, and Superhuman Faculty


dehumanization, gender stereotypes, COVID-19, sexism, stereotype content model


This symposium article explores how law professors with caretaking responsibilities struggled so greatly during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because legal academia prioritizes masculine ideals of competence over warmth, faculty were expected to suppress their emotions and mental health needs in order to maintain the appearance of competence. While students were allowed to be seen as vulnerable individuals needing accommodations, we did not extend this same compassion to our faculty colleagues. To explain why the treatment was so disparate, I incorporated existing research on the stereotype content model (SCM) and psychological theories of dehumanization. These theories help to explain why many faculty with young children suffered in crushing silence during the pandemic while taking on new and overwhelming caregiving obligations.



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