Science & Tech

Annoyed by sexism? Tweet about it

Do you reach for your smartphone every time you hear the word 'hysterical'? It might be helping your mental state.

A study published in the British Journal of Social Psychology has found tweeting about sexism could improve wellbeing.

To help ascertain this, psychologists recruited 93 undergraduate students and divided them into groups of three. All the students were asked to read articles about sexism and inequality over a three day period. One group was asked to tweet publicly, the other group privately and the third group not at all. Those told to tweet were not given directions about the content of tweets or how often they should post. During the experiment participants completed mood questionnaires, and analysis showed those who tweeted publicly felt better by the third day of the study, with the other two groups not showing any changes in wellbeing.

Lead author Dr Mindi Foster said the study showed more research was needed into the health benefits of venting on Twitter. "We know women can be badly affected by experiences of sexism and that responding publicly can be stressful and risky," she said. "This study examined whether using Twitter to respond to sexism could be done in a public way without any negative effects to their wellbeing."

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