Sexism and Social Media

Sexism and sexual harassment are not uncommon in online environments such as social networking sites, forums, and video games. A recent article in the journal Computers in Human Behavior describes a study investigating whether users’ anonymity and level of interactivity with sexist content on social media influenced sexist attitudes and offline behavior. Participants (N =172) used a Twitter account that was anonymous or had personally identifying details. They were asked to share (i.e., retweet) or write posts incorporating a sexist hashtag. After exposure, participants completed two purportedly unrelated tasks, a survey and a job hiring simulation in which they evaluated male and female candidates’ resumés. Anonymous participants reported greater hostile sexism after tweeting than non-anonymous participants. Participants who composed sexist tweets reported greater hostile sexism and ranked female job candidates as less competent than those who retweeted, although this did not significantly affect their likelihood to hire.

For the abstract


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