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ERIC Number: EJ889803
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Dec
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 50
ISSN: ISSN-0190-2725
Can Legal Interventions Change Beliefs? The Effect of Exposure to Sexual Harassment Policy on Men's Gender Beliefs
Tinkler, Justine Eatenson; Li, Yan E.; Mollborn, Stefanie
Social Psychology Quarterly, v70 n4 p480-494 Dec 2007
In spite of the relative success of equal opportunity laws on women's status in the workplace, we know little about the influence of such legal interventions on people's attitudes and beliefs. This paper focuses, in particular, on how sexual harassment policy affects men's beliefs about the gender hierarchy. We employ an experimental design in which we measure the effect of a policy intervention on men's explicit and implicit gender beliefs. Results show that the sexual harassment policy did not alter explicit gender beliefs. Explicit beliefs changed in a different way, however. Compared to the baseline condition, participants in the policy intervention condition believed that most people think both men and women are lower-status, less competent, and less considerate. The policy intervention also affected implicit gender beliefs. Participants in the policy condition displayed more entrenched male-advantaged gender beliefs compared to the baseline condition. We interpret this as evidence that sexual harassment policies may have the unintended effect of activating unequal gender beliefs, which run contrary to the policy's equalizing aims. This research also suggests the value of measuring both explicit and implicit gender beliefs. (Contains 6 footnotes, 2 tables, and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A