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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department or Program Affiliation

Experimental Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Lemm, Kristi M., 1971-

Second Advisor

McLean, Kate C.

Third Advisor

Czopp, Alex


Unlike other forms of internalized oppression, internalized sexism, or women’s bias against other women, has been rarely studied in psychology. In this study, we aimed to determine whether implicit and explicit internalized sexism would predict internally sexist comments made in focus groups. Driven primarily by System Justification Theory, we hypothesized that implicit internalized sexism would predict participants’ proportions of internalized-sexism coded comments even above and beyond the effect of explicit internalized sexism. We also hypothesized that internalized sexism would be negatively associated with self-esteem. Participants completed measures of implicit and explicit internalized sexism as well as measures of implicit and explicit self-esteem. Participants then discussed clips from the reality television show The Bachelor in small focus groups. The data did not support hypothesized associations between either implicit or explicit internalized sexism and internalized sexism-coded comments. Additionally, we did not find significant evidence of associations between internalized sexism and self-esteem. While the data did not support our hypotheses, they did prompt compelling questions to be investigated by future research. Guided by the limitations of this study and by the qualitative data, we suggest several potential directions for future studies in this area.




internalized sexism, prejudice, sexism, stereotypes, intragroup relations, implicit social cognition


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Sexism--United States; Stereotypes (Social psychology)--United States; Women--United States--Attitudes; Reality television programs--United States; Focus groups--United States








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