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Hostile and benevolent sexism - Measuring ambivalent sexist attitudes toward women

University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst Center, Massachusetts, United States
Psychology of Women Quarterly (Impact Factor: 2.12). 02/1997; 21(1):119-135. DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.1997.tb00104.x

ABSTRACT Presents a theory of sexism as ambivalence, not just hostility, toward women. Ambivalent Sexism Theory distinguishes between hostile and "benevolent" sexism (each addresses issues of power, gender differentiation, and sexuality). Benevolent sexism encompasses subjectively positive attitudes toward women in traditional roles: protective paternalism, idealization of women, and desire for intimate relations. Hostile sexism encompasses the negative equivalents on each dimension: dominative paternalism, derogatory beliefs, and heterosexual hostility. It is argued that both forms of sexism serve to justify and maintain patriarchy and traditional gender roles. The validity of a measure of these constructs, the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory (ASI), is reviewed. Comparisons are offered between the ASI and other frequently used scales of attitudes toward women, with suggestions for the proper domains of different scales. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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