What is sexism


Sexism is the systematic discrimination against people based on their gender.

Sexism affects both men and women. It relates to women differently and more often negatively. Men are also restricted in the sexist gender model, but they occupy a privileged position in it.

Sexism is based on gender stereotypes. This means social ideas about men and women. The stereotypes are also linked to expectations of the behavior of the sexes (gender roles). A traditional understanding of roles assigns men and women to opposite areas of society.

Concepts of sexism change over time and so traditional forms refer to gender stereotypes and roles. In doing so, they refer to the general inferiority of women. "Neosexisms", on the other hand, assume that men and women are treated equally and thus deny discrimination.


The term heterosexism aims to make the discrimination against lesbians, gays, transgender and intersex people visible. Because sexist thinking assumes two genders, male and female. These two sexes are seen as "counterparts" and relate to one another in their desires (heterosexuality).

Sexist advertising

Advertising is sexist when it discriminates on the basis of gender. That means when it spreads assumptions about women, men and sexuality based on gender stereotypes and role stereotypes.

Additional information

Responsible for this page:
City of Vienna | Women's Service Vienna
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