Date of Project


Document Type

Honors Thesis

School Name

College of Arts and Sciences



Major Advisor

Dr. Hank Rothgerber


This experiment delves into the potential effects of sexist language used in the Christian religious context on increased use of sexist language, and endorsement of sexism on an individual level. In order to demonstrate a relationship between these two variables, an experiment was designed. Participants were exposed to either a religious or neutral priming session and were then immediately asked to complete several scales and measures of sexist language, sexism, and their level of intrinsic religious motivation. The hypothesis was that participants who ranked lower on intrinsic religious motivation, and who received a religious prime, would generate increased sexist language and sexism than the neutrally primed, higher ranking intrinsically motivated participants. The results demonstrated opposite effects of the religious prime on the behavior of the participants. The religiously primed participants expressed less sexism and sexist language, and a significant interaction was found between exposure to a religious prime and intrinsic religious motivation level. Exposure to a religious prime affected intrinsic religious motivation, in that those ranking higher in intrinsic religious motivation expressed less sexism and sexist language than those lower in intrinsic religious motivation with a religious prime.