It’s no secret that men and women have been treated differently by society. It’s time to speak out against sexism.

Couverture in the 17th century allowed for all of a woman’s property and rights to be transferred to her husband after marriage. While feminist movements in history have battled for equal rights between sexist, sexist attitudes still exist today. They’re seen in advertisements, wage gaps, workplaces, wherever you name it.

Here are some reasons why they need to end and we need to change how we think-

Science doesn’t see a difference.

Hyde’s study in 2005 considered results of all studies that considered differences between men and women and compared them using effect sizes. What she found was that men and women have no significant differences across any characteristics other than mental rotation or ball throwing ability. Now, I’m sure that ball throwing skills have nothing to do with defining a woman’s skill. Studies by Teeter et al confirmed Hyde’s results, giving us more proof that the statement “men are from Mars and women are from Venus” is just not true.

Stereotypes can impact performance

We’ve all heard the stereotype that girls are worse at math than boys, amongst many others. Think if you were constantly told you’re bad at something and then given a test to measure your ability at that thing. How’d you do? If you answered poorly, that’s what research shows as well. Math performance in girls is lower when they’re reminded of the stereotype. But when girls are reminded that they’re equal to men, their math performance dramatically increased and we saw no difference between the two sexes. Sexism can reduce confidence, and can actually perpetuate the behavior that’s been stereotyped.

There’s more to this world than sexes

We have this idea that men and women are different across so many domains that sometimes we fail to consider any other factors that may impact these stereotypes. Are females bad at math because they’re females or because they lack resources to learn and perform better? Culture, socioeconomic status, and socialization agents are just some examples that can impact attitudes and performance. However, we continually focus on sex being the reason behind the difference.

Whether we consider modern research studies in psychology, neuroscience or other studies, we continually see that men and women are more similar than different. Yet, only 3 of 100 top CEOs are female. There still exists a wage gap between the two sexes in the US and Canada. It’s time to speak out against sexism and promote equitable treatment of not just men and women, but of all genders.

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