Study finds sexist comments in Utah are commonplace in everyday speech

Local News

LOGAN (ABC4)- On Wednesday, Utah State University released a study showing that the use of sexist comments and remarks are prevalent and normalized in everyday speech.

The university worked with the Utah Women in Leadership Project to find the public communication and social settings of commonplace speech.

The study reports that “in both private and public spaces, women encounter messages that reinforce gender roles and stereotypes, demean women as a gender group, and sexually objectify women.”

Overall, results show that participants believed most people behave in sexist ways without realizing that they are. They also felt that women needed to be prepared to be leaders. However, study participants did not agree that men in Utah were supportive of “advancing women into leadership roles.”

The study showed that the majority of comments came from men in a position of authority over women in the workplace. Other places where sexist comments took place were school, church, and in the home. 

Participants reported different kinds of responses when confronted with sexist comments. Some were shocked into not responding. Others rebutted the comments or felt hurt by the comments while others shrugged it off or felt they should have reported the comment.

“We hope to educate readers on the various ways that language and related behaviors can demean and disempower women, especially for those who may not realize their words are problematic,” researchers said. 

“Second, by examining the types of responses reported in our study, along with other responses supported by scholarly research, we aim to equip women with the tools they need to better combat the sexism they experience from day to day.”

Researchers also said that the damaging effects of sexist language in every situation can be reduced by raising awareness of it. 

To read the full study, click here.

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