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Sexism is the subordination of one sex, usually female, based on the assumed superiority of the other sex. Sexism directed at  omen has three components: (J) negative attitudes toward women; (2) stereotypical beliefs that reinforce, complement, or justify  he prejudice; and (3) discrimination-acts that exclude, distance. or keep women separate (Lott, 1994). Can men be victims of sexism? Although women are

more often the target of sexist remarks and practices, men can be victims of sexist assumptions. According to the social  psychologist Hilary M. Lips (2001), an example of sexism directed against men is the mistaken idea that it is more harmful for   female soldiers to be  killed in battle than male soldiers.

Like racism, sexism is used to justify discriminatory treatment. When women participate in what is considered gender- appropriate endeavors in the  workplace, at home, or in leisure activities. they often find that they are the targets of prejudice   nd discrimination. Obvious manifestations of sexism are found in  he undervaluing of women’s work and in hiring and promotion  practices that effectively exclude women  from an organization or confine them to the bottom of the organizational hierarchy. Even  today, some women  who enter nontraditional occupations (such as firefighting and welding) or professions (such as dentistry and architecture) encounter hurdles that men do not  face (see “Sociology Works!”). Sexism is interwoven with patriarchy-a hierarchical

system of social organization in which cultural, political, and economic structures are controlled by men. By Contrast. matriarchy  s a hierarchical system of social organization in which cultural, political, and economic structures are controlled by women; wever, few (if any) societies have been organized in this manner. Patriarchy is reflected in the way that men may think of  heir position as men as a given whereas women may deliberate all what their position in society  should be (see Box J 1.2 for an  ample). As the sociologist Virginia Cyrus (1993: 6) explains. “Under patriarch)’, men are seen as ‘natural’ heads of households, Presidential candidates, corporate executives, college presidents, etc. Women, on the other hand, are men’s  subordinates. playing such supportive roles as housewife,  mother, nurse, and secretary:’ Gender inequality

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