Women face discrimination across the world. They have fewer rights and opportunities (like education) than men, all because of their gender. And the COVID-19 pandemic has made this worse.

But despite this, many people (including women) deny that gender discrimination exists. Even people who have experienced it personally! We wanted to find out why this is. We thought that perhaps it’s because denying discrimination makes the world seem fairer. This makes women happier.

We carried out three studies, involving 20,000 participants from 23 countries altogether. We tested the hypothesis that denial of gender discrimination is related to better well-being in women.

We found this to be true across the United States and worldwide. In fact, in countries where gender discrimination is worse, women were even more likely to deny it! Denial of discrimination helps women to cope, but it makes gender inequality worse.

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Summary of research
Scientists wanted to find out why some women deny that gender discrimination exists, even though it negatively affects them.
Reading level
Scientific field
Key words
NGSS standards
AP Environmental science topics
IB Biology topics
Scientific methods
Type of figure
Location of research
Scientist Affiliation
Publication date
April 2022

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