Research and Policy Brief
Utah Women & Leadership Project
Sexism takes many forms, from blatant and aggressive to unintentional and subtle. Gender-related societal attitudes, social norms, unconscious biases, and microaggressions all contribute to sexist behaviors and attitudes that are partially responsible for much of the inequity women face every day. Researchers have noted that “in both private and public spaces, women encounter messages that reinforce gender roles and stereotypes, demean women as a gender group, and sexually objectify women.” Sexist comments and remarks are prevalent and normalized in everyday conversation, public discourse, and virtually every other social setting. Though not the only form of sexism, sexist comments often take people by surprise, leaving women wishing they were better prepared to respond and refute this form of sexist expression. Further, face-to-face confrontation of sexism can be extremely difficult, so in an attempt to avoid backlash or retaliation, women often choose to ignore or minimize the sexism they experience.
Scribner, Robbyn T., Madsen, S. R., & Townsend, A. (2021, November 4). Sexist comments & responses: Study introduction and overview. Utah Research & Policy Brief. https://www.usu.edu/uwlp/files/briefs/38-sexist-comments-study-introduction-overview.pdf