Dr. Doan Modianos


Sexism, prejudice or discrimination typically against women, is an attitude that causes emotional distress and can negatively affect women's psychological and physical health. Studies have shown that psychological distress heightens when women are subjected to sexist events (Szymanski, Gupta, Carr, & Stewart, 2009). Sexism exists in the classroom, workplace, and politics, and is virtually inescapable for women (Miner-Rubino, 2007). It is common for women who are in positions of power to be unjustly branded with cruel epithets (Manne, 2016). Despite the modernity of today's culture and progression of gender equality, sexism is still a prevalent issue. This study assesses underlying predictors that are related to sexism. In order to identify these predictors, I examined Big Five personality traits, spirituality/religiousness, and moral reasoning, as well as demographic variables. Participants were university students within a general psychology course who completed an online questionnaire for course credit. Results indicate that there is a significant relationship between misogyny and moral foundations theory and a negative correlation between sexism and empathetic personality. These results suggest that there are several personality and religious predictors of sexism.

About the Author

Rachel McPherson graduated from the University of Central Florida in May 2018 with a B.S. in Psychology. She presented this research at the Southeastern Psychological Association in 2018. During her time at UCF, McPherson worked as a research assistant for the Applied Cognition and Aging Laboratory and completed an Honors in the Major thesis. She is now conducting research in the Applied Cognition and Aging Laboratory. She plans to earn a Ph.D. in Gerontology.


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