This study investigates if exposure to benevolent sexism harms women’s self-esteem and career aspirations more than exposure to hostile sexism. It also examines the potential buffering influence of a strengthened gender group identification on these negative effects. This buffering influence is expected for hostile, but not benevolent, sexism. Participants read an interview transcript in which the male interviewer expressed either benevolent or hostile sexist comments toward the female applicant. They then either completed a gender group identification manipulation to either strengthen or weaken their identification, or they completed a control writing task. No significant main effects of, or interaction between, sexism type or gender group identification condition were found. There was, however, a main effect of gender group identification on collective self-esteem, such that participants in the manipulation conditions (i.e., Strong and Weak) reported lower self-esteem than those in the control condition. That is, priming gender group identification after exposure to sexism lowered women’s collective self-esteem, regardless of sexism type. Implication of these findings and potential future exploration are discussed.


Stuart, Jillian




Social Psychology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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