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


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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Available from: Peter Glick, Jan 27, 2014
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    • "Hostile sexism is defined as " antipathy toward women who are viewed as usurping men's power " and benevolent sexism as " a subjectively favorable, chivalrous ideology which offers protection and affection to women who embrace conventional roles " (Glick & Fiske, 2001, p. 109). Both forms of sexism serve to justify and maintain patriarchy and traditional gender norms (Glick & Fiske, 1997, 2011). Benevolent and hostile sexism are proposed to have three subcomponents, namely power, gender differentiation, and sexuality (Glick & Fiske, 1997). "
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    • "First, we focus on ambivalent sexism because it is an overarching constellation of beliefs that endorse traditional gender roles. Indeed, hostile and benevolent sexism are correlated with one another, and mutually support one another to justify the gender status quo (Glick and Fiske 1997). Consistent with this reasoning, previous research refers to ambivalent sexism as a motivated cognitive style, one which impacts the general way individuals view the world (Roets et al. 2012). "
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    • "Feminists have argued that men utilize rape and sexual assault as a form of social control, which ultimately maintains a patriarchal social order (Brownmiller 1975; Sheffield 1987). As evidence to this assertion, sexist attitudes towards women are related to greater rape myth acceptance (Chapleau et al. 2007; Glick and Fiske 1997) and rape proclivity among British (Masser et al. 2006) and U.S. men (Osland et al. 1996). Moreover, men who hold sexist beliefs are also likely to possess racist attitudes (Sidanius 1993), and racism is associated with increased rape myth acceptance (Aosved and Long 2006). "
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