Unfortunately, sexism still exists – and there are some examples of casual sexism you should make yourself aware of. We women have made some huge leaps in the last few decades – we’re on a ‘somewhat’ more equal footing to men although there’s a huge way to go yet. Some of us have been embarking on high-powered, high-flying careers, others find it harder to crack the ‘male dominated’ careers. In sales and marketing in Australia I can tell you now, that there are some Sales Representative / Account Manager roles, that as a woman you’ll just never get. (I hesitate to ‘name company names’ lol) A few for example though… DO love to give their flashy company cars to men, with the striking green V.. or the world renowned ‘red n white’ swirl!! They’ll never let a female ‘at it’ ha!
Do most people recognize sexism in their daily lives? And what does it take to get them to shake their sexist beliefs?
In a study titled “Seeing the Unseen” psychologists Janet Swim of Pennsylvania State University and Julia Becker of Philipps University Marburg, Germany, set out to answer these questions.
Over the course of three separate, seven-day-long trials, Swim and Becker asked 120 college undergraduates (82 women and 38 men, ranging from 18 to 26 years old, some from the U.S., some from Germany) to record in a journal sexist comments they encountered on a daily basis. According to Swim, she and Becker hoped to determine whether forcing people to pay attention to less obvious forms of sexism could decrease their endorsement of sexist beliefs.
During the trials, subjects were instructed to note instances of sexist behavior toward women, ranging from unwanted sexual attention to blatantly sexist jokes and derogatory comments.
They were also asked to record subtler actions that many would consider harmless: men calling women “girls, ” complimenting them on stereotypically feminine behavior and sheltering them from more “masculine” tasks. Swim and Becker described this less obvious sexism to participants as “benevolent sexism,” a term coined by psychologists Peter Glick and Susan Fiske in a 1996 study to refer to “a paternalistic attitude towards women that idealizes them affectionately,” Glick told The Huffington Post.
On average, subjects recorded two derogatory terms, two sexist comments, 1.5 expressions of negative beliefs about women and 1.5 expressions of seemingly positive but in fact sexist thoughts about women each week. Swim recalled that one female participant reported a complete stranger had walked up to her in a laundromat and asked if she would fold his laundry because she’d be better at it.
This kind of sexism is “ambiguous,” Swim said, and “people don’t know if they’re kidding, so we discount them one after another.”
“If you document it and are confronted by a group of instances of sexism, then people start to see the unseen,” she added.
The prevalence of sexism — benevolent or hostile — was not the study’s primary focus, nor its major reveal. The more significant finding had to do with how men and women’s beliefs about sexism changed after they became aware of its prevalence. In addition to asking participants to record instances of sexism, researchers also evaluated the degree to which subjects tolerated sexist behavior.
Researchers found that after recording the sexist incidents they observed, women were more likely to deem the behavior less acceptable. Men, on the other hand, continued to endorse sexist behavior even after becoming more conscious of it.
But when asked to empathize with the female targets of specific sexist incidents, male participants were less likely to sanction blatant sexism. Continue Reading at Huffington Post