Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Amy Brausch, Jenni Teeters, Andrew Mienaltowski

Degree Program

Department of Psychological Sciences

Degree Type

Master of Science


Research has shown that women face an average of three sexist events per week (Fischer & Holz, 2010). These sexist experiences can present within domains of daily living, social media usage, workplace discrimination, psychological distress, and sexual objectification (Baires & Koch, 2020; Duggan, 2014; Oswald, et al. 2019; Perez, 2019; Rollero, 2013). Additionally, the literature has shown that types of sexist experiences can determine the severity of the impact on mental health outcomes, as benevolent sexism has showcased significant consequences on females’ self-esteem and body objectification and hostile sexism has been shown to impact selfevaluation and self-worth (Calogero & Jost, 2011; Oswald, et al. 2012; Shepherd, et al. 2011). Furthermore, researchers have found that chronic experiences of sexism were related to greater reports of psychiatric symptoms and overall negative mental health outcomes that were significantly different than their male peers (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997; Klonoff & Landrine, 1995; Moradi & Subich, 2004). Due to the relation between experiences of sexism and its effects on female mental health, the current study aimed to uncover if there was a potential indirect relationship between lifetime and past-year experiences of sexism and past-year suicide ideation or past-year non-suicidal self-injury through body surveillance and self-esteem. Data were collected on these factors in a sample of 106 female college students. Results did not show significance for the relationships between lifetime sexism, hostile sexism, or benevolent sexism and suicide ideation or non-suicidal self-injury through the mediating factors of body surveillance and self-esteem. While the study’s hypotheses were not supported by the data, significant correlations were observed between experiences of sexism and body surveillance, self-esteem, and lifetime non-suicidal self-injury. These results could provide a foundational understanding for future research endeavors to further analyze if specific risk factors or larger sample sizes could provide answers on the possible relationship sexism between suicide ideation or non-suicidal self-injury.


Arts and Humanities | Clinical Psychology | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Personality and Social Contexts | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Women's Studies