Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Sexism: What’s the point?

I found an article on The Washington Post that explains how people who are sexist have more psychological problems compared to people who aren’t sexist – oh, the irony. Researchers found 11 norms considered to be “traditionally masculine” which were the desire to win, need for emotional control, risk-taking, violence, dominance, sexual promiscuity or playboy behavior, self-reliance, primacy of work, power over women, disdain for homosexuality and pursuit of status — and looked to see whether they were associated with particular mental health outcomes  (Kaplan, 2016). They found that men who stuck more strongly to these norms were more likely to experience problems such as depression, stress, body image issues, substance abuse and negative social functioning. They were also less likely to "[T]urn to counseling to help deal with those problems. The effect was particularly strong for men who emphasized playboy behavior, power over women and self-reliance" (Kaplan, 2016). If sexism harms both the perpetrator and the victim, then what’s the point? Understanding the sloth-like speed at which social change occurs, we can’t expect people that hold sexist views to change over night. We can, on the other hand, raise kids so that they don’t display this kind of behavior and try to warn people of the potentially psychological impairment that these views can have on both parties.

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