Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree Completion

Summer 2016

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Dr. Susan Lonborg

Second Committee Member

Dr. Tonya Buchanan

Third Committee Member

Dr. Kara Gabriel

Abstract

The harmfulness and pervasiveness of benevolent sexism is not a well disseminated issue, despite the belief that women are treated with equality in today’s society. The current study was designed to investigate whether exercise type and motivation to exercise would predict participants’ self-reported benevolent and hostile sexism, particularly in light of gender-related stereotypes about physical activity. A sample of 79 females completed an online survey that included questions about demographic characteristics, primary exercise type (i.e., cardiovascular exercise, weight-lifting, or hobbies), average number hours spent engaging in their primary exercise weekly, exercise motivations, and finally the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory which served as the measure of benevolent and hostile sexist attitudes. Given some participants’ difficulty identifying only one primary exercise type as well as multiple motivations to engage in these activities, only the variables of age, weekly hours of weight-lifting, and weekly hours of cardiovascular activity were included in the multiple regression equations used to predict self-reported benevolent and hostile sexism. Methodological problems around measurement of constructs and suggestions for future research are presented herein.