UA Poll Assesses Sexism In The 2016 Presidential Election

Jun 7, 2017

Was sexism a factor in the 2016 presidential election? Results of a national poll that surveyed about 3,600 respondents say yes.

The Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville conducted the poll shortly after the election. Results came out on Wednesday. KUAR’s Chris Hickey spoke with the poll director, Angie Maxwell, a professor of political science at the U of A.  Poll participants were rated on a commonly used psychological research tool called the Modern Sexism Scale, developed in 1995.

Maxwell says participants in the Blair Center Poll, who were also asked who they supported for president, had to indicate how they felt about the following five statements:

-Many women are actually seeking special favors, such as hiring policies that favor them over men, under the guise of asking for “equality.”

-Most women interpret innocent remarks or acts as being sexist.

-Feminists are seeking for women to have more power than men.

-When women lose to men in a fair competition, they typically complain about being discriminated against.

-Discrimination against women is no longer a problem in the United States.

Respondents were rated on a five point scale, saying whether they strongly agreed, agreed, were neutral, disagreed, or strongly disagreed. Participants’ responses to the five general statements about women were then broken down along gender, race, party affiliation and region--specifically if the respondents lived or identified culturally with the American South.

“[Sexism] is more prevalent among white Americans than among African Americans or Latinos. Latinos are kind of a close second. It is partisan, which is a little bit surprising how extremely partisan it is. There’s a 30 to 40 point gap between Democrats and Republicans on those questions,” Maxwell says.

Learn more on the polling results here.