Sex Roles

, Volume 45, Issue 7–8, pp 567–577 | Cite as

Respected or Rejected: Perceptions of Women Who Confront Sexist Remarks

  • Elizabeth H. Dodd
  • Traci A. Giuliano
  • Jori M. Boutell
  • Brooke E. Moran


This study explored perceptions of women as a function of their reactions to a sexist remark. One hundred and twenty college students (60 women and 60 men) were asked to read a transcript of a conversation among 3 friends (2 men and 1 woman). As part of a 2 × 2 × 2 between-subjects design, male and female participants read a scenario in which one of the men made either a sexist remark or an ambiguous remark, which the woman then either ignored or confronted. The results showed that female participants both liked and respected the target woman more when she confronted the sexist remark than when she did not confront it. However, although male participants' respect for the target was not affected by her response to the sexist remark, they liked the target woman less when she confronted the sexist remark than when she did not confront it. Previous research (J. K. Swim & L. L. Hyers, 1998) suggests that although women often want to confront sexist remarks, in practice they may remain silent because of self-presentational concerns. Our results confirmed that women's fears of negative repercussions are somewhat justified, at least as far as men are concerned.

gender differences perceptions sexism language 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth H. Dodd
    • 1
  • Traci A. Giuliano
    • 1
  • Jori M. Boutell
    • 1
  • Brooke E. Moran
    • 1
  1. 1.Southwestern UniversityUSA

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