Perceptions of racial and gender bias in naval aviation flight training
Miller, Scot A.
Whitaker, Lyn R.
Petho, Frank C.
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Naval Aviation policy makers are concerned that bias may exist in Naval Aviation flight training. This bias takes two general forms: a negative bias against minority/female flight students, and a double standard bias in which minority/female flight students are given more opportunities to succeed. This study presents an objective, quantitative analysis to determine if evidence of either kinds of bias exist in flight training. A database of several thousand student performance records is the primary source of information. An opinion survey augments the performance data by recording current student and instructor beliefs about bias in the training command. Analysis shows that the success rate of while males in flight training is 10-20 percent higher than that of female and minority students. Efforts to determine the sources of these performance differences remain inconclusive. Multiple regression analysis of pilot Primary flight grades indicates that race may be associated with poorer flight grades. There is potential evidence of a double standard. Female students receive more flight time and instructional hops in Primary pilot training than white males. The opinion survey suggests significant differences in the perceptions of bias between black and white flight students and female and male students.
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