Two studies illustrate women's struggle between their desire to challenge sexism and the social pressures and costs that lead to not publicly responding. In Study 1, 45% of the women confronted a man who made a sexist remark and only 15% did so directly. Confronting was most likely to be chosen by women actively committed to fighting sexism in their daily lives. Private responses illustrate that a lack of responding was not necessarily indicative of complacency about the remarks or a lack of thoughts about confronting. The results from Studies 1 and 2 reveal that diffusion of responsibility, normative pressures to not respond, social pressures to be polite, and concern about retaliation likely suppressed responding.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science