Sex Roles

, Volume 63, Issue 7–8, pp 463–474 | Cite as

Confronting Sexism: The Role of Relationship Orientation and Gender

  • Sarah J. GervaisEmail author
  • Amy L. Hillard
  • Theresa K. Vescio
Original Article


This study examined whether relationship orientation was associated positively with confronting sexism and whether confronting sexism was associated positively with competence, self-esteem, and empowerment for women but not men in stereotypically masculine domains. Men and women undergraduates from a United States Midwestern university (n = 165) were exposed to a sexist statement during a staged, online interaction. Relationship orientation, confronting (i.e., publically rating the sexist statement as problematic and inappropriate), competence, self-esteem, and empowerment were assessed. Consistent with hypotheses, relationship orientation was associated positively with confronting. Additionally, confronting was associated positively with competence, self-esteem, and empowerment for women but not men. Implications for interpersonal confrontation, relationship orientation, and gender differences in response to everyday sexism are discussed.


Everyday sexism Confronting prejudice Relationship orientation Gender 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah J. Gervais
    • 1
    Email author
  • Amy L. Hillard
    • 1
  • Theresa K. Vescio
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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