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University Study Finds America's Most Sexist State

By Petr Knava | News | August 23, 2018 |

By Petr Knava | News | August 23, 2018 |


So, the American states have now been ranked in order of sexism. The report, by economists at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and National University Singapore, also suggests the (somewhat obvious) conclusion that women from areas of higher endemic misogyny go on to earn less money than their counterparts in more enlightened parts of the country.

You wanna take a guess at which state came out on top of this rather awful league table?

Go on, take a second. We’ll wait.






It’s Arkansas.

According to this study, Arkansas is the most sexist state in America.

The authors of the study used several years’ worth of answers on a biennial survey that asks Americans to describe their positions on statements and concepts such as:

‘Women should take care of running their home and leave running the country up to men’

‘A working mother can establish just as warm and secure a relationship with her children as a mother who does not work.’

The likelihood of voting for a woman for president.

Men being better suited emotionally for politics.

On the other end of the scale, and the least sexist place in America according to the study, was New Hampshire.

According to The Independent:

“Sexism is highest in the Southeast and least extreme in New England and the West,” Kerwin Kofi Charles and his fellow authors wrote. “The figure shows that there is substantial variation in mean sexism across states within each geographic region of the country.”

The researchers also sought to understand how the prevalence of sexist beliefs in the areas where women grew up and in the places they worked as adults affected outcomes such as wages, workforce participation, and the age they marry or have children.

They found state-level differences can have a substantial impact on the lives of women.

“Sexism in a woman’s state of birth and in her current state of residence both lower her wages and likelihood of labour force participation and lead her to marry and bear her first child sooner,” they wrote.

As a result they concluded that the prevalence of sexism in a woman’s birth state appeared to affect her later earnings and outcomes even if she relocates to a place with less sexism.

The full report can be read here (PDF link), but this is what the United States of America looks like according to it with regards to its attitude towards women:


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Petr is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.

Image sources (in order of posting): Getty Images, University of Chicago