Sexism, gender stereotyping, and their consequences
Sexist beliefs and gender stereotypes remain prevalent globally. These gender beliefs have far- reaching consequences on young people and adults, influencing impressions of self and others on interests, characteristics, and abilities. In this line of research, we investigate how children (primary age), young people (secondary and university students) and adults understand gender stereotypes and sexism.
Current projects include:
- Investigating children’s gender essentialism beliefs (i.e., the belief that gender is biologically determined and unchangeable) and how these relate to the development of sexism and the acceptance of exclusion based on gender.
- Examining young people’s understanding of power in heterosexual relationships and their endorsement of marriage traditions and surname choice.
- Teachers’ barriers and willingness to teach about sexism and gender equality; and how people understand subtle forms of sexist behaviour which are not easily identifiable as prejudice (e.g., believing women are more gentle and in need of protection by men).
Initial projects in this line have been funded by:
- The British Academy – Leverhulme Small grant (PI: Aífe Hopkins-Doyle, Co-I: Harriet Tenenbaum)
- The Economic and Social Research Council Impact Accelerator Account (IAA) grant (PI: Harriet Tenenbaum, Co-I: Aífe Hopkins-Doyle)
Research conducted by members of the Psychology of Gender and Sexuality Lab.
Dr Aife Hopkins-Doyle
Lecturer in Social Psychology
Dr Aífe Hopkins-Doyle is a Lecturer in Social Psychology. Her research interest is in the social-cognitive and ideological factors influencing meta-perception and related attitudes, with a particular focus on gender relations, sexuality, political actions and social issues.
She gained her BSc degree in Psychology (Hons) at the National University of Ireland at Maynooth (2008-2012) before moving to the University of Kent to complete a Master’s degree in Social and Applied Psychology (2013-2014) and a PhD in Social Psychology (2015-2019). Her PhD research examined the role of warmth in misperceptions of benevolent sexism as negatively related to hostile sexism and other known correlates (e.g. opposition to gender equality measures).
Upon completion of her PhD, Aífe was a Lecturer in Social and Organisational Psychology at University of Kent (2018-2020). She joined the School of Psychology at University of Surrey in April 2020.
In addition to her research, she enjoys teaching and working on initiatives that promote greater social diversity and inclusion in academia. She is a member of the Athena Swan Self Assessment Team in the School of Psychology.
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