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How sexism is harming women’s health
Posted in Addiction, Mental Health - 0 Comments

How sexism is harming women’s health

Sexism is harmful to society. Not many would argue against this. What some don’t realize is that sexism leads to more than just hurt feelings. This is a phenomena affecting employment, education, relationships and even womens’ health. Solving the problem of sexism could be the key to improving the mental and physical health of women in our world.

Sexism against women comes in many forms. Rape, denying career opportunities and inappropriate touching are just the more well known symptoms of sexism. Other sexist actions include:

  • Social media harassment – With its open nature, social media is infested with people who send threatening and derogatory messages to women. These people, commonly referred to as “trolls” mean to cause emotional distress in their victims. Some tech savvy trolls may find personal information about the woman and share it for harmful purposes, such as perpetuating identity theft, harassment and other menacing activities
  • Interrogation about clothing and physical looks – In our society, women are overburdened with expectations of their appearance. While some nice compliments are often welcome, taking apart a person’s looks, excessive staring and routine criticising can create a hostile environment
  • “Cat calling” – Cat calling is the act of shouting, whistling or making comments of sexual nature towards women who are passing by. When women on the street are walking and being harassed with degrading language, this is a real problem

Problems such as these take an emotional toll on the target. Women are 70 percent more likely than men to develop depression in their lifetimes. Researchers now believe sexism might be the culprit. A recent study has found consistent sexual objectification will take a toll on one’s mental state. This same study concluded it was worse for black women as it stated that:

“The path from perceived risk of crime to psychological distress was significant for black/African American women, but not for white women. Accordingly, perceived risk of crime fully mediated the relationship between sexual objectification experiences and psychological distress for black/African American women, but not white women. Given that black/African American women tend to be exposed to more crime than white women, it is possible that their perceived risk of crime has a greater effect on their overall psychological well-being than it does for white women.”

Researchers also concluded that, when looking at the results as a whole it could be suggested that a sociocultural context in which women and their bodies are objectified related to their sense of safety and security in the world.

While it is true that many men aren’t perpetuating harm toward women it is vital to take note of the damage done by those men who do take part in sexist actions. This focus on the harm sexism causes isn’t meant to attack the male gender as a whole. Instead, it is about raising awareness of the acts that qualify as inappropriate toward women and taking steps towards negating these trends in society.

Sovereign Health of Arizona is designed to be sensitive of women’s issues. We understand the burden of sexism on society and its toll on one’s mental health. If you or your loved one is dealing with depression, anxiety or any other mental illness, please don’t hesitate to call our compassionate admissions specialists at (866) 598-5661.

Written by Nicholas Ruiz, Sovereign Health Group writer

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