The United States of Sexism?

I was fortunate to grow up in a household where woman were strong-willed and outspoken. In fact the only real sexism I was exposed to was the one time my very Italian uncle told me to go get my father and him some sandwiches since I was the only girl in the room (I responded with a quick no). However when I got to college, I started to notice a shift in my observable world. Some men truly felt superior to women. This new outlook on life has made me question gender relations in our country, and if gender inequality can actually be scientifically proven.

Validating Sexism

Some argue that sexism isn’t even a real issue. However a study from DePaul University has rejected the null that sexism has no effect on gender inequality. By setting forth several controls and utilizing time to nullify reverse causation, the researchers were able to validate their results and claim that sexism leads to gender inequality.

This past summer Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky set a world record. However she was overshadowed by her male counterpart, Michael Phelps.

This past summer Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky set a world record. However she was overshadowed by her male counterpart, Michael Phelps.

A separate study questioned the presence of sexism in the college environment. This study found that though sexist acts towards both males and females were reported, there was a much higher number of reported sexist acts towards female students.

These incidents have very concerning effects on individuals. In her writings NYU’s Emma Rooney refers to several studies that support the claim that sexual objectification can have negative effects in women’s mental health and physical health, often bringing about depression, eating disorders, and anxiety.


This video from ATTN: (originally accessed here) brings to light one of the largest aspects of sexism in our country, mansplaining.

Mansplaining encompasses many different things, two of which are:

  1. A man assuming he knows more about a certain topic than a woman solely based on his gender.
  2. The act of a man interrupting or talking over a woman to explain his views and opinions.

According to the video, studies show that men dominate the majority of conservations in groups. Other studies confirm that conversations in classrooms and meetings are also male-driven.

When regarding gender differences in a classroom setting, research collected in 1994 revealed that middle school boys were 8 times more likely than girls to call out an answer, yet they did so with little to no consequences. In contrast when girls called out answers they were reprimanded and told to raise their hands. If girls’ opinions are suppressed they could become less confident in sharing their opinions, falling into a pattern of allowing men to overpower them in conversation. This could be a possible mechanism behind the previous studies’ conclusions regarding male skewed conversations.


Now what?

The science and facts show a clear sexism problem in society. Studies prove not only that sexism is present in the world and our country; they go further to show that sexist incidents and objectification can lead to harmful health effects in women.

It is difficult to deny well-conducted studies. Some might choose to ignore what doesn’t agree with their own views, but as discussed in class that is a matter of faith and not science. In this case the science doesn’t lie. There is a problem in our nation. It is up to us to create a better world for the next generation of women.



Picture 1

Picture 2

Leave a Reply