Think Your Social Class Should Be Dominant? You Sexist Racist!

Who knows whether this study will prove to be accurate but so far it looks like social dominance goes hand in glove with racism and sexism.  Go figure!

Maite Garaigordobil, professor of Psychological Testing at the UPV, is the co-author of this study which explores the link that sexism has with racism and other variables. She explains that “people who are highly sexist, whether they be hostile (seeing women as the inferior sex) or benevolent (believing that women are the weaker sex and need to be protected and cared for), also have racist tendencies”.

The results of the study show that both processes are closely related and that they are likely to be based on more general beliefs about relationships between different social groups. Garaigordobil states that “the results even suggest that such prejudiced attitudes could be a personality trait.”

“Sexism is linked to authoritarianism and a leaning towards social dominance,” explains the author. “In other words, sexist people accept hierarchies and social inequality, they believe that different social groups have a status that they deserve and they feel that the social class to which they belong is the best.”

During the study it was also confirmed that sexism is related to low intercultural sensitivity. Sexist people show low levels of involvement when it comes to interacting with immigrants. The also present low levels of respect for differences, confidence towards immigrants and desire to interact with them.

The need for education policies

A sample population of 802 participants from the Basque Country between 18 and 65 years of age was used to carry out the study. Its main objective was to determine the relationship between sexism and self-image, racism and intercultural sensitivity. Therefore, Garaigordobil and Jone Aliri, also a researcher at the UPV, proposed different tests, the results of which were later interpreted using correlational methodology.


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