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It can lead to a wide range of harmful behaviors, from acts of violence to subtle comments that reinforce stereotypes. All manifestations of sexism are harmful and have a negative impact on society. Women are most severely affected, but sexism also affects people of other marginalized genders. Less directly, it also harms men. In this article, we describe the different types of sexism and give some examples that people may commonly encounter.
Sexism is prejudice or discrimination against a person or group based on their sex or gender. It primarily affects women and girls, and it is the root cause of gender inequity worldwide. Learn the difference between sex and gender. These terms come from the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory, a framework that researchers use to understand and measure the effects of this prejudice. This refers to beliefs and behaviors that are openly hostile toward a group of people based on their sex or gender. Misogyny, or the hatred of women, is an example of hostile sexism.
These views may also apply to anyone with feminine traits and anyone who expresses their gender in a way that is associated with femininity. Hostile sexism is dangerous. According to research , it is a risk factor for sexual harassment and gender-based violence. A study found that men who endorsed hostile sexism were more likely to be physically abusive toward their partners, with alcohol use — another common risk factor — having less of an effect on rates of intimate partner violence among this group.
This suggests that hostile sexism is a powerful driver of abuse in relationships. A study in Indonesia also found a positive link between hostile sexism and sexual assault. In comparison to hostile sexism, benevolent sexism can be less obvious. It is a more socially accepted form and is much more likely to be endorsed by men and women. However, despite its name, this type of sexism is not truly benevolent.
While benevolent sexism applies some positive traits to women and femininity, it still frames one sex or gender as weaker than another. For example, the study found that men who endorsed benevolent sexism were more likely to support policies that limit the freedoms of pregnant women. This is a combination of benevolent and hostile sexism. People who engage in ambivalent sexism may vary between seeing women as good, pure, and innocent and seeing them as manipulative or deceitful, depending on the situation. Some researchers argue that hostile and benevolent sexism support one another as part of a system.
Benevolent sexism offers women protection in exchange for them adopting a more subordinate role, while hostile sexism targets those who deviate from this. This refers to sexism that is entrenched in organizations and institutions, such as :. When policies, procedures, attitudes, or laws create or reinforce sexism, this is institutional sexism. Institutional sexism is widespread. It can be hostile, benevolent, or ambivalent. One of the clearest indicators is the lack of gender diversity among political leaders and business executives.
Another indicator is a gender pay gap. This refers to a difference in the average pay that women and men receive for similar work. In the U. Overall, women earn less than men in almost every occupation. This manifests during interactions with others. It can occur in the workplace, within relationships, among family members, and in interactions with strangers. Internalized sexism refers to sexist beliefs that a person has about themselves. Usually, a person adopts these beliefs involuntarily as a result of exposure to sexist behavior or the opinions of others.
Research suggests that the lower rate of women working in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics may be due to internalized sexism. Studies have shown that sexist stereotypes affect academic performance. As many believe that boys are better than girls at math and science, this could cause a lack of confidence.
There are many types of sexism. This prejudice and discrimination can be hostile and overt or seemingly benevolent and more subtly harmful. Many countries that consider themselves to be tolerant instead perpetuate a mixture of types, forming a system of ambivalent sexism.
All types of sexism are harmful to the health of society. To stop sexism, it is crucial to understand how it manifests and then to challenge sexist attitudes and practices at all levels — from the internal to the institutional. Toxic masculinity is a term often used to describe the negative aspects of exaggerated, 'traditional' masculine traits. Learn more here.
Sex and gender are different. Sex is ased at birth, while gender is how a person identifies. Gender encompasses a broad spectrum. Racism affects healthcare in many ways, making it more difficult for marginalized groups to access medical treatment in the United States. Racism and mental health are closely connected. Learn about how racism can cause or worsen conditions such as anxiety, depression, or trauma here.
Heart disease in women can cause different symptoms to men. Sometimes, it also causes no symptoms. Learn the s, treatments, and more. What is sexism? What are the types of sexism? Hostile sexism. Benevolent sexism. Ambivalent sexism.
Institutional sexism. Interpersonal sexism. Internalized sexism. Health Equity. Latest news Does gluten sensitivity exist? Cholesterol-lowering jab could save over 30, lives. Related Coverage. What to know about toxic masculinity. Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, Ph. Sex and gender: What is the difference? Medically reviewed by Emelia Arquilla, DO. Racism in healthcare: What you need to know.
Medically reviewed by Alana Biggers, M. What is the link between racism and mental health? What are the symptoms of heart disease in women? Medically reviewed by Dr. Payal Kohli, M.Looking for that down women
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