Sexism and gender inequality

October 28, 2011, Association for Psychological Science

(Medical Xpress) -- Individual beliefs don’t stay confined to the person who has them; they can affect how a society functions. A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, looks at 57 countries and finds that an individual’s sexism leads to gender inequality in the society as a whole—not surprising, but it is the largest study to find this relationship.

“I’m interested in the consequences people’s beliefs about how the world should work and how the world does work,” says Mark Brandt of DePaul University, the author of the new study. For this study on sexism, he used data from an international survey conducted between 2005 and 2007. The survey included two statements to measure sexism: “On the whole, men make better political leaders than do” and “On the whole, men make better business executives than women do.” He also used a United Nations measure of gender inequality, from the year the sexism question was asked and from 2009.

Brandt found that was directly associated with increases in gender inequality overtime.

“You could get the impression that having sexist beliefs, or prejudiced beliefs more generally, is just an individual thing—‘my don’t impact you,’” Brandt says. But this study shows that isn’t true. If individual people in a society are sexist, men and women in that become less equal.

is such a tough beast to crack because there are so many contributing factors,” Brandt says. Policies can contribute to inequality—and some countries have insured some measure of equality by mandating that some number of seats in the legislature be reserved for women. But this study suggests that if the goal is increased equality, individual attitudes have to change.

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

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 ...

Economic inequality is linked to biased self-perception

August 23, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Pretty much everybody thinks they’re better than average. But in some cultures, people are more self-aggrandizing than in others. Until now, national differences in “self-enhancement” have ...

'Benevolent sexism' is not an oxymoron and has insidious consequences for women

October 4, 2011
Recent debate about whether acts of "benevolent sexism" harm women are addressed in a new commentary published in Psychology of Women Quarterly.

Men get ahead for being 'disagreeable' in the workplace; women don't

August 4, 2011
In the workplace they do, according to new research co-authored by University of Notre Dame Management Professor Timothy Judge. But there also is a double standard for women and, yes, a pay gap.

When it comes to infidelity, does power trump gender?

April 27, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- We have all seen the headlines. A powerful athlete, politician or businessman has committed adultery. The tabloids fly off the shelves and the papers are consumed with the how’s and why’s.  ...

Recommended for you

Intensive behavior therapy no better than conventional support in treating teenagers with antisocial behavior

January 19, 2018
Research led by UCL has found that intensive and costly multisystemic therapy is no better than conventional therapy in treating teenagers with moderate to severe antisocial behaviour.

Babies' babbling betters brains, language

January 18, 2018
Babies are adept at getting what they need - including an education. New research shows that babies organize mothers' verbal responses, which promotes more effective language instruction, and infant babbling is the key.

College branding makes beer more salient to underage students

January 18, 2018
In recent years, major beer companies have tried to capitalize on the salience of students' university affiliations, unveiling marketing campaigns and products—such as "fan cans," store displays, and billboard ads—that ...

Inherited IQ can increase in early childhood

January 18, 2018
When it comes to intelligence, environment and education matter – more than we think.

Modulating molecules: Study shows oxytocin helps the brain to modulate social signals

January 17, 2018
Between sights, sounds, smells and other senses, the brain is flooded with stimuli on a moment-to-moment basis. How can it sort through the flood of information to decide what is important and what can be relegated to the ...

Baby brains help infants figure it out before they try it out

January 17, 2018
Babies often amaze their parents when they seemingly learn new skills overnight—how to walk, for example. But their brains were probably prepping for those tasks long before their first steps occurred, according to researchers.

10 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

LVT
1.4 / 5 (10) Oct 28, 2011
When did Psychology decided that politics trumps Reality?

We saw a study on this very site showing both women and men preferred male bosses. A big clue that perhaps they are!
Callippo
5 / 5 (1) Oct 28, 2011
individuals sexism leads to gender inequality in the society as a wholenot surprising, but it is the largest study to find this relationship
It's example of emergent effect. When all people in the crowd will do just a tiny step in the same direction against the wall, some people near the wall will get crushed. The same applies to misunderstanding of aether model, cold fusion and another findings, the judgment of which just requires the unbiased stance.
Corban
not rated yet Oct 28, 2011
Callippo
not rated yet Oct 28, 2011
You cannot know, whether some findings is working, until it isn't even attempted to replicate. The simple "is it working?" criterion may be missleading, when we lack the peer-reviewed attempts for phenomena replication.

The same economical criterions, which motivate the companies into seeking of new solutions will force these companies, which invested into some technology, in ignorance of alternative solutions. In economy this reluctant behavior is what the "protection of investments" is called. After all, we all could see soon, whether the cold fusion is working or not, despite it's being ignored with "big science".
Callippo
not rated yet Oct 28, 2011
arguing that these things work means arguing that modern capitalism isn't that ruthlessly profit-focused
XKCD is formal math loving individual, which tends to schematic thinking and solutions. The hyperdimensional duality based, internally paradoxial aether model is nothing, what these people could adopt easily.

The problem of capitalism is, it's driven with people of limited timespan and these people don't care about profit, until it exceeds the horizon of their own life. Such people will not care about the profit of the human civilization as a whole from any long term perspective.

After all, what the owner of oil fields could get from implementation of cold fusion by now? The price of his property would just fall dramatically. What the current government could get from implementation of cold fusion by now? The access of individuals to unlimited source of energy would just undermine all mechanisms, in which the contemporary governments maintain their power.
Nerdyguy
5 / 5 (8) Oct 28, 2011
individuals sexism leads to gender inequality in the society as a wholenot surprising, but it is the largest study to find this relationship
It's example of emergent effect. When all people in the crowd will do just a tiny step in the same direction against the wall, some people near the wall will get crushed. The same applies to misunderstanding of aether model, cold fusion and another findings, the judgment of which just requires the unbiased stance.


Callipo, it brought a smile to my face to see you bringing cold fusion into a discussion about gender inequality.
Callippo
not rated yet Oct 28, 2011
Callipo, it brought a smile to my face to see you bringing cold fusion into a discussion about gender inequality.

Unfortunately, the way in which physicists are denying the cold fusion has much to do with the way, in which people are introducing sexism, racism, antisemitism or whatever else xenophobia into society. These stances are related to selfinforcing emergent mechanism, which is propagating in avalanche way through the whole society in similar way, like the photon wave in lasing environment.
beau2am
not rated yet Oct 28, 2011
We saw a study on this very site showing both women and men preferred male bosses. A big clue that perhaps they are!

No, it's not a big clue. There are so many holes in your proposed statement, I'm having a difficult time deciding which one to start with...

I think I don't even want to go into it, and I imagine I'd use too much of my own time on explaining errors in logic to you.

-For instance: Define "better". (that's just a start. you made a large leap in logic there)
Nerdyguy
5 / 5 (8) Oct 28, 2011
We saw a study on this very site showing both women and men preferred male bosses. A big clue that perhaps they are!

No, it's not a big clue. There are so many holes in your proposed statement, I'm having a difficult time deciding which one to start with...

I think I don't even want to go into it, and I imagine I'd use too much of my own time on explaining errors in logic to you.

-For instance: Define "better". (that's just a start. you made a large leap in logic there)


I reread his comments carefully. The word "better" is not included in them. Plus, the reference was actually to a study that reported its results here.
beau2am
not rated yet Oct 28, 2011
I know the word "better" wasn't included in his post. I'm aware.
I made an implication.

Here's what he said:
"We saw a study on this very site showing both women and men preferred male bosses. A big clue that perhaps they are!"

Perhaps they are what?
He could either mean perhaps they are preferred.
Or he might mean something else.

If he mean't, "We saw a study on this very site showing both women and men preferred male bosses. A big clue that perhaps male bosses are preferred by women and men!" -then what does that have to do with anything in this particular article?

I imagine he meant, "We saw a study on this very site showing both women and men preferred male bosses. A big clue that perhaps male executives and political leaders are better than female!"

Like I said, if he meant the first one -then what relevance did any of his comment have to the article on this page?

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.