Sexism refers to prejudice or bias toward people based on their gender; it encompasses beliefs (e.g., in different roles for men and women), emotions (e.g., disliking powerful women), and behavior (e.g., sexual harassment) that support gender inequality. Although originally conceived as antipathy toward women, sexism includes subjectively positive but patronizing beliefs (e.g., that men ought to provide for women). There can also be sexism against men, insofar as people believe women are superior to men.

History and Current Usage

Research on sexism developed rapidly in the 1970s. Initially, researchers assumed that sexism, like other prejudices, represents an antipathy (dislike or hatred) toward an oppressed group (specifically women, who have historically had less power than men). The Attitudes toward Women Scale, which measured whether respondents thought that women ...

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