To examine reported experiences of gender discrimination and harassment among US women.
Data come from a nationally representative, probability‐based telephone survey of 1596 women, conducted January‐April 2017.
We calculated the percentages of women reporting gender discrimination and harassment in several domains, including health care. We used logistic regression to examine variation in experiences among women by race/ethnicity and sexual orientation/gender identity.
Sizable fractions of women experience discrimination and harassment, including discrimination in health care (18 percent), equal pay/promotions (41 percent), and higher education (20 percent). In adjusted models, Native American, black, and Latina women had higher odds than white women of reporting gender discrimination in several domains, including health care. Latinas’ odds of health care avoidance versus whites was (OR [95% CI]) 3.69 (1.59, 8.58), while blacks’ odds of discrimination in health care visits versus whites was 2.00 [1.06, 3.74]. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) women had higher odds of reporting sexual harassment (2.16 [1.06, 4.40]) and violence (2.71 [1.43, 5.16]) against themselves or female family members than non‐LGBTQ women.
Results suggest that discrimination and harassment are widely experienced by women across multiple domains of their lives, particularly those who are a racial/ethnic minority or LGBTQ. Further policy and programmatic efforts beyond current legal protections for women are needed to meaningfully reduce these negative experiences, as they impact women's health care and their lives overall.
Data Source and Study Design