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Women’s Sexism-Related Coping Support from Male Romantic Partners

Abstract

Women who cope with sexism via social support tend to experience positive psychological outcomes. The present research examines sexism coping support and relationship satisfaction within mixed-gender romantic relationships. In Study 1, women (n = 208) reported desiring and receiving emotional support, distraction, and active planning coping support behaviors from their male romantic partners after experiencing sexism. Sexism coping support predicted women’s relationship satisfaction while accounting for important related factors (e.g., partner sexism, sexism frequency). In Study 2, men (n = 218) reported providing and believing their female partners most desired emotional support, distraction, and active planning coping support following disclosures of experiences of sexism. Men’s own hostile and benevolent sexism and engagement in coping support behaviors related to the perceived satisfaction of their female partners. This research highlights the sexism coping support behaviors that are desired and engaged in most frequently, as both women and men report the importance of emotional support, active planning, and distraction coping support behaviors in response to women’s disclosures of their experiences with sexism. These findings are discussed in relation to existing literature on coping support and sexism and romantic relationships.

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Data, materials, and code availability

De-identified data files, syntax/code files, study materials, and supplemental materials are all available open access on OSF: https://osf.io/2b87f/?view_only=0a383d3134d14045ba352aad8a034ddb.

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Both authors contributed to the conception, design, material preparation, data collection, and data analysis of the present studies. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Melanie R. Maimon and both authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. Both authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Melanie R. Maimon.

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Maimon, M.R., Sanchez, D.T. Women’s Sexism-Related Coping Support from Male Romantic Partners. Gend. Issues (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12147-022-09301-1

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Keywords

  • Sexism
  • Romantic relationships
  • Coping support
  • Relationship satisfaction
  • Allyship