Economic and Social Causes of Sexism and of the Exploitation of Women

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Psychologists have neglected the role of the social, economic and political systems in determining behaviour. Rather, our ®eld, consciously or unconsciously, has been instrumental in upholding the status quo. We have accepted society's ruling ideas that perpetuate exploita- tion, especially of women in the world of work. Women are often the last to be hired and the ®rst to be ®red. They are employed part-time and ®red early to avoid the cost of fringe bene®ts and retirement costs. Ideas about women's roles, generated by capitalism and patriarchal religions, are responsible for widespread sexism and the exploitation of many powerless groups, but especially girls and women. This paper reviews several examples of sexist exploita- tion that have an economic base.

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Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, v. 8, issue 2, p. 145–160