Women regularly endure sexist microaggressions, which are often associated with anger, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and trauma. The cumulative effects of sexist microaggressions may result in internalized sexism and undermine self-compassion. Notably, prolonged exposure to sexism is associated with trauma symptoms; however, the traumatic effects of sexist microaggressions have remained largely theoretical. Thus, we examined the role of sexist microaggressions as a traumatic stressor and evaluated self-compassion and internalized misogyny as mediators of sexism-based traumatic stress. With a sample of 370 adult cisgender women, results suggested that sexist microaggressions significantly and positively predicted trauma symptomology, and that this relationship was partially mediated by self-compassion but not internalized misogyny. Results supported sexism as a traumatic stressor, and low self-compassion as a mechanism through which sexist microaggressions result in traumatic stress. We discuss implications for research and practice.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology