• Bio:

    Virginia Valian is Distinguished Professor at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center, Director of the Hunter College Gender Equity Project, and Director of the Hunter College Language Acquisition Research Center. She works in two domains: gender and language acquisition. In gender, she investigates why so few women are in positions of power and prestige. In language, she investigates children’s acquisition of syntax.

  • Recent Publications:
    • Valian, V. (2016). Null subjects. In J. Lidz, W. Snyder, & J. Pater (Eds.), Oxford handbook of developmental linguistics (Chapter 17). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    • Stewart, A. & Valian, V. (in press). An inclusive academy: Achieveing diversity and excellence, MIT Press.
  • Current Projects:

    Virginia Valian’s book Why So Slow? The Advancement of Women (1998, MIT Press) shows how gender schemas result in women’s being undervalued and men’s being overvalued and how the accumulation of advantage and disadvantage helps men and hurts women. Her book with Abigail Stewart (in press, MIT Press) presents an analysis of why universities and colleges continue to underutilize and undervalue women and people of color; it goes on to recommend solutions for hiring, retention, and promotion. Other recent work examines the role of modern sexism in the 2016 presidential election. Valian’s work on language investigates knowledge and use of language in young monolingual English speakers (two- and three-year-olds) and the possible cognitive benefits of bilingualism.

  • Research Areas: Gender, Linguistics, Psychology