"Do Microaggressions Matter, and to Whom? Effects of their presence on women and men witnesses in academic contexts."
When examining the effects of gendered microaggressions on people, researchers typically focus on people directly targeted by microaggressions, i.e., women. In the current research, we expand previous microaggression research to focus on those who are mere witnesses to these events, including men as well as women witnesses. Using an experimental approach, we randomly assigned undergraduate students to see gendered microaggressions targeting a woman student or neutral interactions. We also compared the effect of witnessing microaggressions to witnessing nongendered rude behaviors between students. Our results indicate that men as well as women can be negatively affected by witnessing microaggressions, in terms of increased negative emotions, stereotyping concerns, lowered enthusiasm for group work, and diminished sense of belonging. These studies demonstrate that academic environments marked by microaggressions can harm all students in the setting by diminishing outcomes that predict student success.