by Sarah Riley, Louisville Courier Journal –
The United States isn’t the best country in which to be a girl, according to a report by Save the Children. Sweden ranked the best place for young females to live, while Niger finished at the bottom. The U.S. was rated 32nd on the 144-country list. Wochit
A new academic research paper shows that Kentucky is the sixth most sexist state in the nation, which affects not only the trajectories of women who live here now but the women who were born here and moved away.
For the paper “The Effects of Sexism on American Women: The Role of Norms vs. Discrimination,” researchers from the University of Chicago, Northwestern University and National University Singapore analyzed an incredible amount of data going back to 1970.
Their analysis shows that women who live in states deemed the most sexist had:
- Lower wages
- Less participation in the labor market
- Earlier marriage and child-bearing ages
Before you start trying to find flaws in the research, the paper notes that the gaps were consistent over decades and weren’t influenced by shifts in the economy.
Our category of the most sexist states also includes Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, Utah and West Virginia. The category of least sexist states includes Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Wyoming.
So how is sexism defined in the paper? Well, in a few ways. In sexist places, the researchers show, people believe:
- That women’s capacities are inferior to men’s
- That the family unit is hurt when women focus on activities outside the home
- That men and women should occupy specific, distinct roles in society
The researchers didn’t mince words in explaining that sexism doesn’t just have a vague and hard-to-quantify societal influence but a hard impact on women’s success.
“Our finding … provides sound evidence that prejudice-based discrimination, undergirded by prevailing sexist beliefs, may be an important driver of women’s outcomes in the U.S.”
Sarah Riley: 502-582-4613; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @riley_sarah. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: courier-journal.com/sarahr.