Women's Support for Gender-equality Policies: The Roles of Sexism Experiences, Sexist Beliefs, and Psychological Distress

Stephanie Grossman, Fordham University

Abstract

The primary aim of the present study was to examine the roles of women’s experiences of sexism, benevolent sexism, hostile sexism, and self-objectification on their support for gender-equality policies and engagement in gender-equality related social activism. Psychological distress and rape myth acceptance were also examined as potential variables to explain relationships between experiences of sexism, sexist beliefs, and activism. The goal of this study was to understand individual psychological variables that might clarify why certain women who have experienced a significant amount of sexism do not support gender-equality policies. Participants were 339 women (ages 19-71) whose data was collected by anonymous surveys on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk at one time point. Results showed that while there were positive relationships between experiences of sexism and engagement in activism, these relationships did not differ for individuals higher or lower in benevolent sexism, hostile sexism, or self-objectification. Significant intercorrelational findings among study variables were also discussed. The findings of this study highlight the importance of examining both individual as well as systemic variables in understanding women’s role in maintaining gender inequality, and how this systemic inequality as well as internalized sexism can place women and girls at risk for mental health concerns.

Subject Area

Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

Grossman, Stephanie, "Women's Support for Gender-equality Policies: The Roles of Sexism Experiences, Sexist Beliefs, and Psychological Distress" (2019). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI13879082.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI13879082

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