Pew poll: Majority of American men, 63 percent of Republicans believe sexism is over

56 percent of American men think that "obstacles that made it harder for women to get ahead are largely gone"

By Sophia Tesfaye
August 19, 2016 11:07PM (UTC)
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This April 23, 2016, file photo, a person displays their t-shirt outside of the Utah Republican Party 2016 convention, in Salt Lake City. Donald Trump has shattered the normal Republican consensus in Utah even more so than he has nationwide, activating fault lines under a normally stable electorate largely unified by a single religion. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File) (AP)

Pew surveyed 4,702 adults from June 7 to July 5 on their attitudes about sexism in America.

According to the survey, 56 percent of American men believe that “the obstacles that once made it harder for women than men to get ahead are now largely gone.” By contrast, 63 percent of women believe that "significant obstacles still make it harder for women to get ahead than men," only 41% of men felt similarly.


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Unsurprisingly, Pew also found a partisan divide regarding attitudes towards sexism:

Nearly seven-in-ten Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (68%) say there are still significant obstacles for women, compared with just 35% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.

Only 35% of Republicans believe that discrimination still holds women back, but that number drops to less than a quarter of Republican men. Republican women are more than twice as likely as Republican men to believe in sexism, though half of Republican women and three-quarters of Republican men think gender-related obstacles to women’s success are “largely gone.”


There’s a smaller gender gap among Democrats when it comes to believing that sexism is a thing. Of Democratic women, 74 percent think gender-based barriers still exist, compared to 60 percent of Democratic men.

Democratic men in all age groups are between two and three times more likely than their Republican counterparts to agree that "significant obstacles still make it harder for women to get ahead than men."

67 percent of respondents who denied the role of sexism in America indicated that planned to vote for Donald Trump, while only 27 percent of those who acknowledge sexism as a problem said they are voting for the controversial Republican nominee.



Republican men over the age of 65 were more likely than any other age group in their demographic to believe in sexism. Older male Democrats were also more likely to believe in sexism than younger ones.

The 2016 Pew findings echo a 2013 Pew survey of Americans that found millennial men are the group most likely to say that all necessary changes to bring about equality in the workplace have already been made.


By contrast, 78 percent of liberal women aged 50 to 60, and 81 percent of liberal women older than 65 believe sexism still holds back women.

Moreover, in a 2014 survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, Harris Poll found that young men were less open to accepting women leaders than older men were. Only 41% of Millennial men were comfortable with women engineers, compared to 65% of men 65 or older. Likewise, only 43% of Millennial men were comfortable with women being U.S. senators, compared to 64% of Americans overall. (The numbers were 39% versus 61% for women being CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and 35% versus 57% for president of the United States.)

[H/T: Jezebel]

Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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