We examine, in three studies, the content and implications of sexist comments directed toward men and women. While past research has often overlooked sexism directed toward men because of its lower frequency and perceived consequences, due to the complementary nature of gender stereotypes it is important to examine sexism in all its guises. Our first two studies are descriptive, gathering comments from male and female participants about “what men/women are like” and their differing reactions to such comments. Study 1 found that comments about men fall into five distinct categories: sex-driven, child-like, “macho,” morally flawed, and dehumanizing. Study 2 examines comments about men and women, and found that comments about men fell within the same five categories as Study 1 and that comments about women fall within five categories as well: emotional/illogical, controlling/demanding, feminine, “catty,” and sexually promiscuous. The final study expands on these results, examining the extent to which men and women confront sexist comments directed toward men and women, and found that while men and women confront sexist comments about women equally, they differ in their response to sexist comments toward men. Overall, our results parallel previous findings suggesting women possess a stronger ingroup bias than men. This is displayed through their tendency to trivialize negative stereotypical comments about men as well as rate such comments as more accurate, while finding comments directed toward women significantly more disgusting and intimidating. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of our research for men and women.
Level of Honors
summa cum laude
Earvolino, Juliana and Schachtman, Rebecca, "Sorting Out Sexism: Evaluating the Differing Content and Implications of Gender Stereotypes" (2017). Lawrence University Honors Projects. 109.