Changes in sexist attitudes toward women during introductory women's and men's studies courses
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Sexism toward women scores of university students at the beginning of an introductory women's and men's studies (gender studies) course were compared with sexism levels of the same students at the end of the course and with sexism levels of controls. Differences in sexism levels associated with Bem's sex role categories were investigated. Sexism levels among students in every category, except undifferentiated, were significantly lower at the end of the course, while controls showed no pre/post differences. As expected, males were higher than females both at pretest and at posttest, and sexism in both sex groups decreased significantly by equivalent amounts; but androgynous males in the introductory course were lower in sexism than sex-typed males and androgynous females were lower than sex-typed females. Undifferentiated subjects decreased in sexism least during the course, and cross-typed and androgynous males decreased most. The relationship of sexism to several additional variables not included in formal hypotheses also is discussed. These variables were age, religion, ethnicity, SES, and grade earned in the gender studies course.
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