When Do Men and Women Make Attributions to Gender Discrimination? The Role of Discrimination Source
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Two experiments examined the effects of discrimination source on men’s and women’s willingness to make attributions to a sexist experimenter or sexist rules. Students (161 male; 171 females) at a US university were exposed to a discriminatory person, discriminatory rule, or no discrimination. “Experiment 1” demonstrated individuals were less likely to make attributions to a sexist person than an unfair rule, and women were especially reluctant to indicate a person was responsible for their discrimination even when a person was the source. “Experiment 2” showed participants were less likely to indicate an experimenter, and even a rule, was sexist when there was a cost to the perpetrator (i.e., advisor would be notified of the perpetrator’s actions) for making such attributions.