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Friday, April 24th

Poster Number: 050

Age, Race, and Sexism Predict Hostile and Benevolent Ageism


Madison DeMott, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Donna Nelson, Ph.D.

The concept of ambivalent sexism demonstrates how both subtle and overt gender prejudice can exert a powerful influence. Ambivalent ageism illustrates how benevolent and hostile prejudice affect how older adults are viewed. I investigated the unique effects of each type of ageist prejudice on reactions to stereotype consistent and inconsistent images. I also investigated associations between sexist and ageist attitudes and differences in each type of prejudice as a function of gender, age, and race. I expected hostile ageism to predict unfavorable appraisals of counter-stereotypical portrayals of older adults and benevolent ageism to predict favorable appraisals of stereotypical portrayals of older adults. Results show that participants spent the most time looking at pictures that were age and gender stereotypical before responding. Higher hostile sexism scores correlated positively with hostile ageism and benevolent ageism. Compared to men, women scored higher on the benevolent sexism scale. Compared to African American participants, Caucasian participants had higher benevolent ageism, hostile ageism, and benevolent sexism scores. In summation, images that confirmed sexist and ageist attitudes were the ones participants spent the longest time looking at. This reflects an effort to react against unwanted biases. Higher hostile sexism scores predicted ageism of any type. This supports the idea that prejudice in one area predicts other forms of prejudice. African Americans scored lowest in both types of ageism, suggesting greater intergenerational support within their communities. Overall, a lack of divide between benevolent and hostile ageism indicates a wider acceptance of various ageist views.

Poster Number: 051

Dual Process Model and Perceptions of Gendered Communication

Megan Herbst, Winthrop University
Elle Martinez, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Matthew Hayes, Ph.D.

The dual process model (DPM) specifies two drivers of prejudice. One is rooted in beliefs that the world is dangerous, to which people respond with respect for authority and tradition (right-wing authoritarianism; RWA); the other is rooted in beliefs that the world is a competitive jungle, to which people respond by supporting group-based social hierarchy and opposing efforts to redistribute resources away from their group (social dominance orientation; SDO). The present study examined whether more stereotypically masculine (versus feminine) gestures interacted differently with SDO and RWA to affect perceived masculinity and femininity ratings of a male actor. Participants were 168 undergraduate students. Participants were randomly assigned a 30-second video of a male actor displaying either feminine or masculine body language. Following the video, participants used the Short-form Bem Sex-Role Scale to assess the masculinity and femininity of the actor. This was followed by two ideology measures. SDO measured two views on intergroup hierarchy: group-based dominance and opposition to equality (anti-egalitarianism). RWA measured an individual's alignment with three core values: submissiveness to authority (conservatism), compliance to traditional ideals (tradition), and authoritarian aggression (authoritarianism). The results revealed significant differences in aspects of SDO and aspects of RWA, rather than the ideologies as a whole. Individuals high in dominance rated masculine behaviors as more masculine, whereas individuals high in traditionalism or authoritarianism gave lower masculine scores for masculine gestures. Feminine gestures didn’t interact with our ideology variables. This study contributes to how SDO and RWA may impact how others are perceived and therefore judged.

Poster Number: 053

The Effect of College Setting on Perceptions of Cisgender-Transgender Interactions

Victoria Sulak, Winthrop University
Haley Kane, Winthrop University
Ashley Underwood, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

This study assessed students’ perceptions of a social interaction with a transgender individual in different college settings. Participants were 101 college students with a mean age of 19.6 (SD = 1.82). The majority were cisgender women (87%), Caucasian (55%), and heterosexual (78%). Participants were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions. All conditions described a social interaction on a college campus where a transgender male student was mis-identified as a woman, and a similar situation where a transgender female student was mis-identified as a man; the conditions varied in where the interaction took place: a restroom, residence hall, or classroom. Participants provided their perceptions of the situation and responded to scales to assess transphobia, self-esteem, open-mindedness, and need to belong. Results revealed that students reported low levels of transphobia. However, violating the hypothesis, they tended to be more sympathetic to a bystander who unintentionally mis-gendered an individual than they were to the transgender individuals; this was especially true for those with more transphobic attitudes. Students also felt the mistaken speaker would feel the most unsafe in the restroom compared to other settings, suggesting that location was a factor in perceptions. Personality characteristics were more predictive than race. Higher transphobia predicted lower open-mindedness, but also higher self-esteem and no need to belong. Perhaps students with lower self-esteem were more cautious in presenting negative opinions, or perhaps those higher in self-esteem had a greater misunderstanding of the challenges faced by other students. These findings provide new insight into the experience of transgender individuals.

Poster Number: 054

Ambivalent Ageism, Familiarity, and Empathy as Predictors of Charitable Donation Decisions


Madison DeMott, Winthrop University

Recently, researchers have identified two distinct forms of ageism: benevolent ageism, in which older people are patronized or pitied, and hostile ageism, in which older people are devalued. Raymer et al. (2017) found that young adults also can also be targets of negative, age-related attitudes; however, this topic is relatively unexplored. Thus, this study examined how young adults’ ageist attitudes related to charitable decisions for young and senior adult recipients. It was hypothesized that hostile ageism would decrease donations to senior adults (SA), while benevolent ageism would increase donations to SA and predicted the same pattern regarding youth-ageism donations for young adults (YA). Participants were given the task of dividing money between SA and YA donation recipients; they also completed scales to assess benevolent and hostile ageism. To assess youth-ageism, the ageism scale was modified to refer to common stereotypes about YA. Average donation amounts revealed a bias towards YA. Ageist reasoning for donation choices predicted higher donation amounts for a YA recipient and less for a SA recipient. Hostile ageism predicted all other forms of ageism. Familiarity with SA in the form of volunteer work and having African American ethnicity predicted higher benevolent ageism. In conclusion, young adults favored their age group when making donation decisions. The relationship between empathy and Ambivalent Ageism is discussed. These findings provide new insight into youth-ageism.

Poster Number: 055

Young Adults’ Perceptions of Non-Gender Conformity Across Occupations


Emily K. Hayes, Winthrop University
Orion Hanna

Faculty Mentor: Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

The study examined young adults’ perceptions of a man, varying his appearance and labeling him with different occupations. Participants were 116 adults with a mean age of 19.90 (SD = 5.20). The majority were women (76%), Caucasian (53%), and heterosexual (71%). Participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: a picture of a man labeled as either a doctor or barista and the same man wearing make-up labeled as a doctor or barista. Participants rated how accurately a list of masculine and feminine traits matched the picture, and responded to scales to assess their need to belong, self-esteem, and attitudes toward transgender individuals. Need to belong, self-esteem, race, and gender did not predict perceptions of the pictures. Conformity and occupation did not interact. The stated occupation was minimally influential in driving perceptions; the doctor was viewed as having more feminine behavior, which might reflect the fact that doctors help people, which is considered stereotypically feminine. The appearance of gender non-conformity drove perceptions more than did the race, gender, self-esteem, and social needs of the viewer. The non-gender conforming individual was seen as having masculine and feminine behaviors, which matched his appearance. Adults also viewed the gender-discordant individual as more capable at his job, regardless of his occupation. Adults may have seen the flexibility in appearance as a sign that he would be a flexible colleague, or perhaps our participants, who were generally positive toward transgender individuals, were showing support for a person they believed to be transgender.

Poster Number: 056

The Impacts of Racial Integration and Free and Reduced Lunch Programs on Education Quality in Rock Hill

Shannon Barber, Winthrop University
Daniel Brown, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Hye-Sung Kim, Ph.D., and Stephen Smith, Ph.D.

There has historically been a strong correlation between race, socioeconomic status, and the quality of education students receive at any given school. Focusing on Rock Hill School District data, I examine whether deliberate balancing of racial and socioeconomic disparities leads to more equality in educational quality. In addition, I also examine the policy impact of Free/Reduced Lunch on educational quality. I use a panel of data that includes all of Rock Hill School District Three and three middle schools for the period between 2007 and 2019. This timeframe includes both a period when the schools were much more heavily segregated by class and race and a period following an integration. As a dependent variable I use measures of education quality, such as teacher/pupil ratio. My independent variables are free/reduced lunch eligibility and racial composition of schools, such as the proportion of African American students. My hypothesis is that the quality of education was much poorer in schools with higher proportions of socioeconomically disadvantaged racial minorities, while Free/Reduced Lunch policy contributed to an increase in educational quality. To account for the issue of endogeneity due to unobserved omitted variables, I use fixed effects (FE) estimation.

Poster Number: 057

Concerns Pregnant African American Women Face within the Healthcare System

McKenzie Mosley

Faculty Mentor: Aaron Aslakson, M.A.

African American women are one of the most underrepresented and mistreated groups of people in the United States today. Whether it is in the home, workforce, social setting, or even within the healthcare system, they may have to fight social trespasses to be able to be seen and treated equally. There is a crisis going around in the United States today involving pregnant African American women. They face a higher rate of birth complications, infant deaths, and pregnancy failures than any other race. In an attempt to examine why, this research will explain what African American women of middle and especially low socioeconomic status go through while pregnant, one of the most vulnerable times in a women’s life.

Poster Number: 058

Two Drug Epidemics in a Racist World: Comparing the Crack Crisis with the Opioid Epidemic


Téa Franco

America has faced two nationwide drug addictions: the crack crisis and the opioid epidemic. Despite several similarities in the spread of the addictions, the two garnered vastly different reactions from the media, society, and the government. It has become apparent that the reason for these different reactions is the race of those typically afflicted by each addiction. The crack crisis predominantly affected impoverished communities of color, whereas the opioid epidemic has affected more white Americans. Through journalistic methods including FOIA requests, government documents, interviews, and the gathering of primary and secondary sources, I have examined the way that race plays into how America responds to drug addictions. This project includes multimedia components as well, creating a comprehensive, multimedia, data-driven news package.

Poster Number: 059

Perceptions of Professional Women’s Eurocentric versus Afrocentric Hair

Keonna Jordan, Winthrop University
Chance Walcott, Winthrop University
Jamesia Morris, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Merry Sleigh Ph.D.

The present study examined men’s and women’s perceptions of their own hair and that of women in the workplace. It was hypothesized that Afrocentric hair on a black woman would be perceived as less professional than Eurocentric hair on either a white or black woman. It was also hypothesized that black women would have higher hair esteem than white women. Participants were 125 young adults with a mean age of 20.01 (SD = 4.61). Seventy-six percent were women, and 24% were men. 44% of participants were white, 43% were black, and the remainder reported other ethnicities. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions where they viewed one image: black woman with Afrocentric hair, black woman with Eurocentric hair, or white woman with Eurocentric hair. (The depicted women wore the same business suit.) Participants provided their perceptions of the pictures and then responded to a hair esteem scale as if they were the pictured woman and then as themselves. Social dominance, subtle prejudice, and symbolic racism were also assessed. Matching the hypothesis, black adults seemed to have very positive attitudes about black hair. However, they simultaneously expressed concern over how they were perceived by others. Overall perceptions of the black women were more positive than that of the white woman, with the Eurocentric hair garnering more favorable ratings than the Afrocentric hair. This favoritism suggests that Eurocentric standards of beauty still exist. White people who perceived black hair poorly had more racist attitudes toward black people in general.

Poster Number: 060

Women's Rights on a National Level: Worst versus Best States for Women to Reside

Kiara Brown, Winthrop University
Khaila R. Moss, Winthrop University
Alanna M. O'Brien, Winthrop University
Sadarria T. Hall, Winthrop University
Tayler S. Leone, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Darren Ritzer, Ph.D.

According to the Pew Research Institute in 2019, more women vote in United States election than men, and this difference has held since the 1990s. Consequently, women’s issues can be a critical element of a politician’s platform. For example, reproductive rights were heavily promoted in the November 2019 mid-term elections. Politics heavily influence the culture of a geographic region. News and social media contributors have recently attempted to identify pro-woman states, focusing on issues such as employment equality, equal rights, and women-friendly policies. The goal of this study was to examine different states using a range of variables that directly impact women, including: the number of abortion clinics, domestic violence incidents, life expectancy for women, graduation rates, and the income/wage gap. It was hypothesized that women-friendly states would cluster in the Northeast and the West Coast. Scores were standardized across variables and summed to create an overall score for each state. The highest possible score was 255. Results revealed that the most pro-women states were New York (202), Vermont (196), California (195), Connecticut (190), Massachusetts (181), Florida (180), Maryland (176), New Jersey (176), New Mexico (175), Iowa (171), and New Hampshire (170). The worst scoring states were Kentucky and Utah, both with scores of 54. The hypothesis about regional clustering was supported. In general, a larger number of northeastern states were represented among those most pro-woman, while a higher proportion of southeastern states were ranked as less woman-friendly.

Poster Number: 061

Why Can't Women Win in the Workforce?


Isabelle Schmidt, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: William Schulte, Ph.D.

On average, women in the U.S. earn 20% less than men. In order to close the gender wage gap, the public needs to be made aware of the startling statistics accounting for the gap, the root cause of the gap, and the path our collective society needs to take in closing the gap. There are several underlying factors accounting for the gender wage gap, including education, occupational selection, marital and family status, share of women in the workplace, and women’s duties outside the workplace. Over the past several decades, women have made great strides to overcome these underlying factors. For example, there has been a remarkable increase in the labor force participation rate of women, and women have actually surpassed men in educational attainment, and yet the gap remains due to gender discrimination. Pay inequity is a symptom of deep-seated bias and social pressures. Gender bias presents itself in many ways, including stereotyping of children through colors and toys, cultural and media sexualization of women, traditional role of women as caretakers, societal pressure on women's occupational choices, and workplace bias that solidifies gender-specific jobs. The best approach to closing the wage gap is a two-step path. One step is to end gender bias and stereotyping. The other step is to urge the public to enact stronger laws protecting women from wage discrimination. Stricter regulations need to be placed on companies, demanding them to be transparent with their pay practices. The more informed we are, the better chance we have in closing the wage gap.