The effects of gender identification on the role of social costs vs. group benefits in confronting sexism
Milford, Lisa R.
MetadataShow full item record
The current research examined when social costs and/or benefits of confronting discrimination would be effective in predicting women's confronting behavior. Past research has demonstrated that women are active processors of the discrimination that they encounter, yet they are unlikely to confront the discrimination that they face. Research has shown that social costs are a major inhibitor of confronting behavior, but has not considered the role that benefits of confronting play in this relationship. The present research predicted that gender identification (importance of group membership to self-definition) would influence how individuals assessed the group benefits of confronting (improving the situation for other women). It was expected that the effectiveness of these group benefits would be influenced by the costs that were present in the situation. It was hypothesized that when social costs were low, individuals would confront discrimination regardless of their level of identification and confronting would increase when group benefits compared to no group benefits were available. However, it was predicted that when social costs were high, the effectiveness of the group benefits would be influenced by level of group identification. Specifically, it was hypothesized that women who were high in gender identification would confront discrimination more when group benefits could be gained from their confrontation compared to when there were no benefits to the group available. Additionally, it was predicted that when socials costs were high, women who were low in gender identification would confront less regardless of the benefits manipulation. Overall, 28% of the participants confronted the discrimination. Contrary to the predicted results, however, social costs did not influence women's confronting behaviors. Also, unexpectedly, there was a non-significant trend for highly gender identified women in the group benefits condition to be less likely to confront the discrimination that they experienced.