A mind-boggling new study from The Pew Research Center shows just how out-of-touch half of our population is when it comes to women's issues.
Pew surveyed 4,702 adults over the course of July. They asked respondents whether they feel there are "still significant obstacles that make it harder for women to get ahead than men," or whether "the obstacles that once made it harder for women than men to get ahead are now largely gone."
At the heart of this question is whether the respondents believe sexism is still a problem for women.
Apparently, the majority of men think it isn't.
While 63% of women said there are still obstacles that make progress harder for women than men, only 41% of men felt similarly. In fact, 56% of men said those challenges had been largely eliminated.
To be clear, these challenges have not been eliminated. Women are still expected to do more child-rearing than their male counterparts, and almost double the amount of housework. They also have fewer role models and a smaller support network in leadership positions, because of historic gender imbalances in these roles. Oh, and an alarming number still have to deal with workplace sexual harassment — just ask Roger Ailes.
Beliefs on sexism vary by political party, as well as gender.
Unsurprisingly, Republican men win the "least likely to believe sexism is still a problem" award. Only 35% of Republicans believe that discrimination still holds women back, but that number drops to less than a quarter in Republican men. There is a less-pronounced, 8% gap between Democratic men and the majority of their party.
A previous Pew study revealed Republican men are also the most likely to think the country has already made the changes necessary to give men and women workplace equality — even though we are the only developed country without mandatory paid maternity leave.
The divide is also evident across candidates, where 67% of sexism deniers say they’re voting Trump. Conversely, 27% of those who acknowledge sexism as a problem are voting for the Republican candidate. Interestingly, more Democrats than Republicans said they were excited about the idea of electing a female president — before Hillary Clinton even declared her candidacy.
These numbers parallel America's views on racism, too.
An NBC/Survey Monkey poll published last month found 52% of Americans believe racial discrimination is a serious problem for African-Americans — similar to the 53% who think sexism is still a problem for women. Again, these numbers can be divided by party, with significantly more Democrats than Republicans rating racism as an issue.
The heartening thing about these numbers is that they're going up: Almost double the number of people recognize racism as an issue than did so four years ago.
Hopefully, beliefs about sexism are headed in the same direction.