Racism vs. Sexism

Are Americans more offended by racist remarks or by sexist remarks? CBS News looked into the matter in the context of a poll on how people feel about the prospect of a black president or a female president.

Twenty-one percent of respondents said they’re more offended by “negative comments about African Americans in general,” nearly double the 11 percent who are more offended by “negative remarks about women in general.” Forty-two percent said they’re equally offended by both kinds of comments, while 22 percent don’t take offense at either variety.

Those numbers are consistent with the poll’s finding that a plurality of Americans see racism as a more serious problem than sexism in the U.S. Forty-two percent said racism is the more serious of the two, while 10 percent said sexism is. (Twenty-three percent said “both,” and another 23 percent said “neither.)

One counterintuitive tidbit from the poll: Among respondents who said a presidential candidate’s gender would affect their vote either way, women were more likely to say they’d favor a male candidate than a female candidate, 16 percent to 5 percent. Most respondents, men and women alike, said the candidate’s gender wouldn’t matter to them one way or another.