Using Experiential Learning to Increase the Recognition of Everyday Sexism as Harmful: The WAGES Intervention

Jessica L. Cundiff, Matthew J. Zawadzki, Cinnamon L. Danube, Stephanie A. Shields

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

The harms of subtle sexism tend to be minimized despite negative cumulative effects, thus people may be less motivated to address subtle sexism. We tested the effectiveness of an experiential learning intervention, WAGES-Academic (Workshop Activity for Gender Equity Simulation-Academic), to educate about the harms of subtle sexism in the academic workplace. Across two studies, WAGES increased the recognition of everyday sexism as harmful and promoted behavioral intentions to discuss and seek information about gender inequity compared to a control condition that provided identical information as WAGES but without experiential learning. These effects were due to WAGES limiting reactance and promoting self-efficacy. Moreover, WAGES did not differ in reactance or self-efficacy compared to a control condition that provided no gender inequity information. This suggests that WAGES buffers the potential negative effects of simply presenting gender inequity information. Results suggest that WAGES, and experiential learning more broadly, has the potential to change attitudes and behaviors about everyday sexism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)703-721
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Social Issues
Volume70
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)

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