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Threats to feminist identity and reactions to gender based discrimination

Cichocka, Aleksandra, Golec de Zavala, Agnieszka, Kofta, Mirek, Rozum, Joanna (2013) Threats to feminist identity and reactions to gender based discrimination. Sex Roles, 68 (9-10). pp. 605-619. ISSN 0360-0025. (doi:10.1007/s11199-013-0272-5) (KAR id:34360)


The aim of this research was to examine conditions that modify feminists’support for women as targets of

gender discrimination. In an experimental study we tested a

hypothesis that threatened feminist identity will lead to

greater differentiation between feminists and conservative

women as victims of discrimination and, in turn, a decrease

in support for non-feminist victims. The study was

conducted among 96 young Polish female professionals

and graduate students from Gender Studies programs in

Warsaw who self-identified as feminists (Mage=22.23).

Participants were presented with a case of workplace gender

discrimination. Threat to feminist identity and worldview of

the discrimination victim (feminist vs. conservative) were

varied between research conditions. Results indicate that

identity threat caused feminists to show conditional reactions to discrimination. Under identity threat, feminists perceived the situation as less discriminatory when the target

held conservative views on gender relations than when the

target was presented as feminist. This effect was not observed under conditions of no threat. Moreover, feminists

showed an increase in compassion for the victim when she

was portrayed as a feminist compared to when she was

portrayed as conservative. Implications for the feminist

movement are discussed.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/s11199-013-0272-5
Uncontrolled keywords: Feminist identity, Identity threat, Gender discrimination, Ideology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Aleksandra Cichocka
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2013 11:47 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 12:45 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Cichocka, Aleksandra.

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