Internalized Sexism

A sizeable body of research supports the notion that experiences of sexism negatively affect women’s mental health. However, women are not equally affected by sexism, even when exposed to the same sexist events and conditions. Therefore, researchers have introduced third variables when investigating the link between external sexism and psychosocial distress. One such important variable is internalized sexism. Internalized sexism occurs on the individual level and is the experience of taking in messages about the inferiority of women, believing them, and enacting them on oneself and others of the same gender. Similar to internalized racism and internalized heterosexism, individuals who have internalized sexism value themselves less based on the gender oppression they have experienced directly and indirectly. For example, a girl might receive the message ...

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