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.
KeywordsDiscrimination Sexism Prejudice Attributions Gender
We thank all of the undergraduate research assistants who spent many hours working on this project. In addition, we thank Kimberly Daubman and T. Joel Wade for providing insightful comments on an earlier version of the article.
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