Offensive or Not
Examining the Impact of Racial Microaggressions
Although the literature suggests that there exist harmful consequences of microaggression, some researchers argue that the state of the current literature lacks evidence that these indignities are in fact offensive to individuals holding marginalized identities. To address this gap, researchers sought to examine the perspectives of university students, as individuals at a Predominantly White Institution provided ratings to indicate their experiences with and interpretation of verbal racial insults that had been previously identified as microaggressive by previous researchers. Results demonstrate that there are differences in how university students interpret microaggressions. Specifically, the obtained data suggest that race, gender, sexual orientation, and prior exposure to the microaggressions are significant predictors to one’s interpretation of them as offensive or insulting.