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Empathetic Response

What it is and why it's so effective at stamping out gender bias

In the context of gender bias, an empathetic response is when someone with sexist attitudes starts to see sexism through the eyes of girls and women. An empathetic response allows them—for the first time— to acknowledge that sexism exists and to really relate to how it causes physical and psychological harmful.

If an empathetic response is strong enough, it can lead to a sympathetic response, which causes a desire to take meaningful action to help others. Like, say, embrace gender equality. So, without empathetic response there is no sympathetic response, and without sympathetic response the gender equality process hits a wall.

See how important the empathetic response is?!

That's why it's critical to teach our girls how to utilize this very powerful behavior-change tool.

Empathetic Response: Real World Proof
The stories that follow highlight two things: that empathy response is a highly effective behavior-change tool, and that the most effective locations for changing discrimination are not seminar rooms or the Capitol but the living rooms all across America.
Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist turned into a feminist, denouncing "stereotypes about women's domestic roles"
Staunch anti-gay rights Senator turns into gays rights advocate after he learns his son is gay
Empathetic Response: Scholarly Studies
Seeing the Unseen: Attention to Daily Encounters With Sexism as Way to Reduce Sexist Beliefs
The Ambivalent Sexism Inventory: Differentiating Hostile and Benevolent Sexism
Identifying Judicial Empathy: Does Having Daughters Cause Judges to Rule for Women's Issues?
Identifying Judicial Empathy (abstract)