Asian women ‘find racism more depressing than sexism’

Washington: Researchers at the University of Toronto`s psychology department have suggested that some female minority groups find racial discrimination more hurtful than sexism.

"We found that Asian women take racism more personally and find it more depressing than sexism, said lead author and doctoral student Jessica Remedios.

In one study, 66 participants of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Taiwanese and Japanese descent were assigned one of three hypothetical situations. They were all told to imagine they were trying to get permission to enrol in a course but the professor``s reasons for their denial were different.

The second study was intended to study more personal reactions to prejudice.

Sixty participants of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Filipino descent were assigned to write about a past experience of rejection because of racism, sexism or their personalities.

They then were asked to rate their emotional responses on a scale of one to seven.

According to Remedios, the women assigned to contemplate racism were more likely than those assigned to contemplate sexism to believe that they had been rejected by others because of ``something about them`` or because of ``who they are.``

“This suggests that to these women, racism feels like a personal rejection whereas sexism feels more like the result of others’ ignorance,” said Remedios.

The study appears in the June 17 issue of Group Processes and Intergroup Relations journal.