Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Psychology (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Amy Hackney


The impact of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination is a widespread issue in society that has become more visible to people with privilege and has been more widely studied by social scientists and mental health professionals. More recently, the impact of gendered racial microaggressions has been investigated. Gendered racial microaggressions are defined as indirect and everyday slights and insults based on the intersection of racism and sexism (Gadson & Lewis, 2021). Research shows that gendered racial microaggressions toward multiple minority status individuals has a negative impact on their mental wellbeing (Mekawi & Todd, 2018). However, there is a gap in the literature assessing the way others perceive these microaggressions. Specifically, it is important to assess whether majority members perceive gendered racial microaggressions as harmful or not. To answer this research question, participants answered questions to a modified version of the Acceptability of Microaggressions Scale (ARMS; Mekawi & Todd, 2018). In the current research, the ARMS was modified to assess both acceptability and perceived severity towards a Black female target of the microaggression. Results showed that Color Evasion statements were viewed as the most acceptable, followed by Power Evasion, with men finding such statements more acceptable than did women. The findings provide new insight on how college students view microaggressions that multiple minority individuals face in their everyday lives.

Thesis Summary

The current research expands our knowledge of the acceptability of gendered racial microaggressions. A diverse sample of undergraduate participants completed a modified version of the Acceptability of Racial Microaggressions Scale (Mekawi & Todd, 2018) in which participants rated the acceptability of microaggressions and the impact of microaggressions on the target.