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.