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Tweeting helps women cope with sexism

Publicly tweeting about sexism could improve well being of women as it has the potential to let them express themselves in ways they feel like and can make a difference, says a study.

“We know women can be badly affected by experiences of sexism and that responding publically can be stressful and risky,” said Mindi Foster from Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada.

“However, this study demonstrates how tweeting publically has the potential to improve women’s wellbeing,” Foster added.

A total of 93 female undergraduate students were randomly assigned to one of three conditions regarding tweeting over a three-day period.

All participants received information over the three days regarding topical issues around sexism in politics, the media and in universities for them to tweet about.

One group was required to tweet publically, another privately and the third group did not tweet at all.

All participants completed mood questionnaires and wellbeing measures after they tweeted.

Analysis showed that the group of women who tweeted publically displayed feelings of increased wellbeing by the third day.

Neither of the other two groups showed any changes in wellbeing.

The study was published in the British Journal of Social Psychology.


Foster, M. D. (2015), Tweeting about sexism: The well-being benefits of a social media collective action. British Journal of Social Psychology. doi: 10.1111/bjso.12101

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