Professor Aditi Paul is #BreakingTheBias Through Her Research on Human Sexuality

Happy Women’s History Month 2022

Aditi Paul is a professor and mixed-methods researcher based in New York City. She uses her dual background in technology and relationship science to examine how dating apps and social media are transforming personal relationships. Her research on online dating has been featured in leading media outlets including NBCNEWS, Business Insider, Newsweek, The Washington Post, and The Telegraph UK.

Aditi Paul

What does BreakTheBias mean to you?

My perception of bias is informed by my research on human sexuality which shows that there is a clear bias against female sexuality even in relatively egalitarian societies like the US. Despite the feminist movement “normalizing” women’s right to sexual exploration, women continue to be covertly and overtly punished for their autonomy.

For me, breaking the bias means breaking the implicit and explicit bias that society keeps propagating against women for their sexual choices.

What do you think is the most pressing issue to tackle to #BreakTheBias?

The pressing issue to tackle in breaking the bias when it comes to female sexuality is the idea of punishing women for their choices and eventually stigmatizing them. Research upon research has shown that men, even young college-going men, harbor rape-supportive beliefs. Not only men, women themselves pass the harshest judgments toward other women’s sexual behaviors.

How can women #BreakTheBias around personal and professional life?

When it comes to solving issues that disproportionately affect women, the default is to put the onus on women themselves. This is echoed in Michelle Penelope King’s book “The Fix: Overcome the Invisible Barriers That Are Holding Women Back at Work” However, making these significant shifts needs to happen through a top-down approach. This means the C-suites need to put policies in order to create a culture that keeps these biases at check and provides women with enough psychological safety that they feel safe enough to speak up. Unfortunately, the C-suite has historically had an under-representation of women. So, let’s start there if we want to tackle the issue of breaking the bias.

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