Sexism is a stressor for many women and is related to a host of harmful psychosocial outcomes, including silencing oneself in social relationships. The present study examined the relationships among sexist experiences, endorsement of traditional feminine gender roles, commitment to social change, and self-silencing among a sample of 261 women. Results revealed that recent sexist experiences and endorsement of traditional feminine gender roles significantly and positively predicted self-silencing, whereas a commitment to social change significantly and negatively predicted self-silencing. In addition, lifetime sexist experiences were associated with greater self-silencing for women with low levels of commitment to social change, but not for women with average or high levels, suggesting a buffering effect. Women who were less committed to social change demonstrated higher levels of self-silencing when sexual objectification experiences were less frequent; women with higher levels of commitment to social change were less likely to self-silence, regardless of the frequency of sexual objectification experiences. Thus, it is important to explore women’s sexist experiences and gender roles attitudes and to locate women’s self-silencing within a sexist sociocultural context. Moreover, fostering a commitment to social change may be a promising intervention for reducing the impact of sexist events on women’s self-silencing.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 29, 2016
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