Based on research suggesting that alcohol consumption can be used as a means of coping with negative affect (Cooper et al. 1995), the current study examines sexism as a factor in college women’s alcohol consumption. Despite being more prevalent than hostile sexism, benevolent sexism is often viewed as less sexist (Oswald et al. 2018) and having a less aversive impact on women (Bosson et al. 2010). To increase understanding of the negative effects of both hostile and benevolent sexism, the current study experimentally manipulated sexism during a lab session and measured 176 U.S. college women’s actual alcohol consumption that evening. As predicted, college women who experienced either the hostile or the benevolent sexism condition reported consuming a greater number of alcoholic drinks, and those in the hostile sexism condition were more likely to meet the binge drinking threshold than participants in the control condition. This pattern suggests the importance of examining the unique effects of benevolent sexism in addition to hostile sexism because both may influence women’s behavior even in important health domains. Given the many negative consequences associated with alcohol consumption, our results provide evidence for education on healthy coping mechanisms and interventions to reduce both hostile and benevolent sexism.
Hamilton, Hannah R. and DeHart, Tracy. Cheers to Equality! Both Hostile and Benevolent Sexism Predict Increases in College Women’s Alcohol Consumption. Sex Roles, 83, : 675–684, 2020. Retrieved from Loyola eCommons, Psychology: Faculty Publications and Other Works, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11199-020-01140-2
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