Research suggests female minorities are more affected by racism than sexism

July 11, 2011

Studies by the University of Toronto's psychology department suggest that racism may impact some female minority groups more deeply than sexism.

"We found that Asian women take more personally and find it more depressing than sexism," said lead author and doctoral student Jessica Remedios.

"In order to understand the for people who encounter , we must consider the type of prejudice they are facing," says Remedios.

In one study, 66 participants of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Taiwanese and Japanese descent were assigned one of three hypothetical situations. They were all told to imagine they were trying to get permission to enrol in a course but the professor's reasons for their denial were different.

For example, in one situation a Chinese student would be rejected from a course only to learn from a friend that no Chinese students were admitted but 10 white people were.

There were also participants who were told the professor didn't let any women into the course and some subjects were personally rejected by being told the "professor thought they were stupid."

The second study was intended to study more personal reactions to prejudice. Sixty participants of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Filipino descent were assigned to write about a past experience of rejection because of racism, sexism or their . They then were asked to rate their on a scale of one to seven. According to Remedios, the women assigned to contemplate racism were more likely than those assigned to contemplate sexism to believe that they had been rejected by others because of 'something about them' or because of 'who they are.'

"This suggests that to these women, racism feels like a personal rejection whereas sexism feels more like the result of others' ignorance," says Remedios.

Explore further: Daily acts of sexism go unnoticed by men, women

More information: The research was published in a paper entitled "Not all prejudices are experienced equally: Comparing experiences of racism and sexism in female minorities" co-written with UofT psychologist Alison Chasteen and recent Honours Bachelor of Science grad Jeffrey Paek. It appeared in the Group Processes and Intergroup Relations journal on June 17.

Related Stories

Daily acts of sexism go unnoticed by men, women

June 13, 2011

Nearly everyone can recognize the stereotypical scene of construction workers catcalling women as being sexist, but both men and women tend to overlook the more subtle daily acts of sexism they encounter, according to a recent ...

Recommended for you

Serious research into what makes us laugh

November 24, 2015

More complex jokes tend to be funnier but only up to a point, Oxford researchers have found. Jokes that are too complicated tend to lose the audience.

Psychologists dispute continuum theory of sexual orientation

November 19, 2015

Washington State University researchers have established a categorical distinction between people who are heterosexual and those who are not. By analyzing the reported sexual behavior, identity and attraction of more than ...

Babies have logical reasoning before age one, study finds

November 18, 2015

Human infants are capable of deductive problem solving as early as 10 months of age, a new study by psychologists at Emory University and Bucknell finds. The journal Developmental Science is publishing the research, showing ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1 / 5 (1) Jul 11, 2011

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.