Sexism and Racism: Old-Fashioned and Modern Prejudices

Janet K. Swim, Kathryn J. Aikin, Wayne S. Hall, Barbara A. Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1042 Scopus citations


Prejudice and discrimination against women has become increasingly subtle and covert (N. V. Benokraitis & J. R. Feagin, 1986). Unlike research on racism, little research about prejudice and discrimination against women has explicitly examined beliefs underlying this more modern form of sexism. Support was found for a distinction between old-fashioned and modern beliefs about women similar to results that have been presented for racism (J. B. McConahay, 1986; D. O. Sears, 1988). The former is characterized by endorsement of traditional gender roles, differential treatment of women and men, and stereotypes about lesser female competence. Like modern racism, modern sexism is characterized by the denial of continued discrimination, antagonism toward women's demands, and lack of support for policies designed to help women (for example, in education and work). Research that compares factor structures of old-fashioned and modern sexism and racism and that validates our modern sexism scale is presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-214
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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