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Workplace Sexism Starts at Home: Study

New research says men with stay-at-home wives are more likely to have negative opinions about women in the workplace.

Facing sexism from a male co-worker? Maybe it’s his home life. New research on nearly 1,000 men says those with stay-at-home wives are more likely to have negative opinions about women in the workplace. Men in "traditional marriages" where only the men work have less favorable views about the presence of women in the workplace, companies with many female employees and companies led by women, according to Sreedhari Desai, an assistant business school professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They also are more likely to deny promotions to qualified female workers, Desai found in her research. Interestingly, the marriage dynamic seems to be as much cause as effect. It's not just that men who are sexist to begin with marry women who want to stay at home. Men who marry women who aren’t employed gradually adopt more negative opinions about women working, while the opinions of men who get married to women who work become more positive over time.

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