Gender-based discrimination is an issue that permeates many aspects of today’s society and is influenced by numerous factors, including the presence of fake news, or emotionally driven, factually inaccurate, and misleading media. This study aimed to examine fake news’ impact on consumer attitudes regarding women and to investigate how certain demographic factors relate to consumers’ attitudes towards women. The current study had two main hypotheses: (1) participants exposed to fake news materials will report higher levels of both old-fashioned and modern sexism than those in other conditions and (2) participants with higher levels of sociodemographic factors such as right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) and levels of religious involvement will have higher levels of both types of sexism. Data for the current study was collected from male students at the University of Central Florida. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions: watching three consecutive real news clips about women, watching three consecutive fake news clips about women, or watching nothing. Participants then completed online questions related to the study’s aims. Analyses conducted included correlational analyses of all variables, analysis of variance to determine if there are differences in level of sexism based on experimental condition, and linear regression analysis to determine how various sociodemographic factors relate to consumer sexism. Results indicated no significant impact of fake news on participants’ levels of sexism but does demonstrate justification for future research on the topic.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Oropallo, Alexandra C., "Fake News and Women: Fake and Real Media’s Impact on Sexism in Consumer Attitudes" (2021). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 908.