Feminism = Women's Movement? The Effects of Gender and Terminology on Endorsement of Feminism


  • Christyn Wietholter Adrian College


feminism, gender differences, feminist identification, political activism, attitudes toward women


Building on past research, this study examined whether endorsement of feminism is still influenced by terminology used (i.e., feminism vs. women’s movement) and participant gender. 100 undergraduates (36 men and 64 women) were randomly assigned to receive scale items that either referred to feminism/feminist or women’s movement/women. In addition to endorsement of feminism using these items, activism, acceptance of traditional gender roles, and feminist identification were measured. As expected, men endorsed feminism less than women, and participants in the women’s movement (vs. feminism) condition endorsed feminism more. When controlling for feminist identification, there was no gender difference in activism or acceptance of gender roles for participants in the feminism/feminist condition; however, women reported more activism and less acceptance of gender roles than men in the women’s movement/women condition. This study suggests that there is still stigma surrounding feminism that influences its endorsement, especially among women.






Empirical Research