Overt, covert, and subtle sexism: A comparison between the attitudes toward women and modern sexism scales

Janet Kay Swim, Laurie L. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

179 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Attitudes Toward Women Scale (AWS) is routinely used as a general measure of sexism. In this article, it is argued that the AWS (Spence, Helmreich, & Stapp, 1973) actually measures overt or blatant sexism (harmful and unequal treatment of women that is intentional, visible, and unambiguous), whereas the Modern Sexism Scale (MS) measures covert or subtle forms of sexism (sexism that is either hidden and clan-destine or unnoticed because it is built into cultural and societal norms). Support for this distinction is shown by way of (a) confirmatory factor analyses, (b) correlations with affective reactions to different categories of women and men (i.e., women and men in general, traditional women and men, feminists, and chauvinists), and (c) correlations with perceptions of sexual harassment. These analyses indicate that the AWS and MS scales measure distinct but related constructs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-118
Number of pages16
JournalPsychology of Women Quarterly
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

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Sexism
sexism
Sexual Harassment
sexual harassment
Statistical Factor Analysis

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

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Overt, covert, and subtle sexism : A comparison between the attitudes toward women and modern sexism scales. / Swim, Janet Kay; Cohen, Laurie L.

In: Psychology of Women Quarterly, Vol. 21, No. 1, 01.01.1997, p. 103-118.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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