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Ambivalent Sexism at Home and at Work: How Attitudes Toward Women in Relationships Foster Exclusion in the Public Sphere



According to ambivalent sexism theory (AST; Glick & Fiske, 1996; 2001), sex-ism combines complementary gender ideologies, held by both men and women worldwide, which serve to justify social hierarchy. This chapter reviews how be-nevolent and hostile attitudes toward women operate in concert, ultimately main-taining gender inequity. Research specifi cally targets the relationship between sexism and system justifi cation, as endorsed and enacted by men and women. Hostile and benevolent beliefs map onto widely held prescriptions and proscrip-tions for men and women; these beliefs shape men's and women's interactions in the private sphere (i.e., the home, close relationships). Finally, these system justifying beliefs extend to the workplace and impede women from progressing in the public sphere. We yield to none in our admiration, veneration, and respect for woman. We recognize in her admirable and adorable qualities and sweet and noble infl uence which make for the betterment of man-kind and the advancement of civilization.
Ambivalent Sexism at Home
and at Work: How Attitudes Toward
Women in Relationships Foster
Exclusion in the Public Sphere
Mina Cikara, Tiana L. Lee, Susan T. Fiske, and Peter Glick
According to ambivalent sexism theory (AST; Glick & Fiske, 1996; 2001), sex-
ism combines complementary gender ideologies, held by both men and women
worldwide, which serve to justify social hierarchy. This chapter reviews how be-
nevolent and hostile attitudes toward women operate in concert, ultimately main-
taining gender inequity. Research specifi cally targets the relationship between
sexism and system justifi cation, as endorsed and enacted by men and women.
Hostile and benevolent beliefs map onto widely held prescriptions and proscrip-
tions for men and women; these beliefs shape men’s and women’s interactions
in the private sphere (i.e., the home, close relationships). Finally, these system
justifying beliefs extend to the workplace and impede women from progressing
in the public sphere.
We yield to none in our admiration, veneration, and respect for
woman. We recognize in her admirable and adorable qualities and
sweet and noble infl uence which make for the betterment of man-
kind and the advancement of civilization. . . . We would take from
women none of their privileges as citizens but we do not believe
that women are adapted to the political work of the world. . . .
Woman suffrage is inconsistent with the fundamental principles
upon which our. . . . government was founded . . . If woman suffrage
should become universal . . . , in time of great excitement. . . . this
country would be in danger of . . . insurrections . . . [We] should
guard against emotional suffrage. What we need is to put more
logic and less feeling into public affairs. . . .
Suffragists insist that if woman suffrage became universal “it
would set in motion the machinery of an earthly paradise.” It was
a woman of high standing in the literary and journalistic fi eld who
answered, “It is my opinion that it would let loose the wheels of
purgatory.” . . .
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Ambivalent Sexism at Home and at Work 445
There are spheres in which feeling should be paramount . . . the
realm of gentler and holier and kindlier attributes that make the
name of wife, mother and sister . . . but it is not in harmony with
suffrage and has no place in government.
—Nebraska Men’s Association Opposed
to Woman Suffrage, Omaha, 1914
Giving women the vote created neither heaven nor hell on earth. Neverthe-
less, we cite this admittedly quaint but sexist manifesto to illustrate the main
themes of our chapter. In ambivalent sexist ideology, women are viewed as
adorable and sweet, subjectively positive traits that suit them to hearth and
home, but also as too emotional and insuffi ciently logical to accomplish the
work of the world (the writers blamed even the French Revolution on wom-
en’s passions). Ambivalent sexism theory (AST) reveals, like the quotation
above, how attitudes about women within heterosexual romantic relation-
ships are part and parcel of the justifi cations (both subjectively benevolent
and hostile) that exclude women from high-status roles outside the home.
Indeed, we argue that subjectively benevolent views about women within
heterosexual relationships help to make sexist ideologies acceptable (and
even attractive) to many women. Although contemporary women’s (and
men’s) attitudes are less extreme than those of the “woman of high standing”
who feared that women’s suffrage “would let loose the wheels of purgatory,”
ambivalent sexism continues to justify limiting women’s roles in the public
In this chapter, we review how benevolent and hostile attitudes toward
women complement one another and give rise to discrimination against
women, according to AST (Glick & Fiske, 1996, 2001). We also consider em-
pirical fi ndings that help to illustrate the relationship between sexism and
system justifi cation, as endorsed and enacted by men and women. Next, we
examine how hostile and benevolent beliefs map onto romanticized ideals
about what men and women ought (and ought not) to be, and how these
beliefs shape people’s mate preferences. Finally, we review how these system
justifying beliefs spill over into the workplace and how they work to block
women’s progress in the public sphere.
Ambivalent sexism theory contends that sexism is not rooted in unalloyed
antipathy. Rather, sexism is the combination of complementary gender
ideologies, held by both men and women worldwide (Glick, et al., 2000),
which serve to maintain the present social hierarchy. Benevolent sexism
(BS) is a paternalistic ideology in which women are subordinate beings,
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best suited for traditional, low-status roles, who need to be protected, cher-
ished, and revered for their virtue. Hostile sexism (HS), which does express
antipathy, is a combative ideology that is hostile toward women, who are
viewed as seeking to control men, whether by using their sexuality or femi-
nist ideology as a means to achieving status and power. The Ambivalent
Sexism Inventory (ASI; Glick & Fiske, 1996) is a 22-item self report mea-
sure, which includes both benevolent and hostile subscales and assesses
the extent to which people maintain benevolent and hostile attitudes to-
ward women. Examples of benevolent items are “Men are incomplete with-
out women,” “Women should be cherished and protected by men,” and
“Many women have a quality of purity that few men posses.” Hostile items
include statements such as “Women seek to gain power by getting control
over men,” “Many women get a kick out of teasing men by seeming sexu-
ally available and then refusing male advances,” and “When women lose
to men in a fair competition, they typically complain about being discrimi-
nated against.”
Hostile and benevolent sexism are the predictable products of the power
differences and interdependence between men and women, which deter-
mine the nature of patriarchy, gender differentiation, and heterosexual re-
lations; each domain reinforces the structural foundations of ambivalent
sexism. Patriarchy yields paternalism, the ideological justifi cation of male
dominance. The hostile elements of patriarchy are based in dominative
paternalism, the belief that men ought to have more power than women
and the fear that women might usurp men’s power. In complement, the
benevolent elements of patriarchy are based in protective paternalism, the
belief that men need to protect and provide for the women on whom they
Gender differentiation refers to the social distinctions all cultures make
between men and women and the importance of gender identity in so-
cial hierarchy (Harris, 1991). Competitive gender differentiation justifi es
women’s lower status through stereotypes of their inherent inferiority and
incompetence, consistent with the assumptions of antipathy theories of prej-
udice (e.g., social identity theory; Tajfel & Turner, 1986). On the other hand,
complementary gender differentiation stresses the functionality of women
in gender-conventional roles and accounts for the view that women are
“wonderful” because they are nurturing and supportive (Eagly & Mladinic,
Finally, heterosexual relations and sexual reproduction highlight the in-
terpersonal interdependence of men and women. The hostile interpretation
of this interdependence is that women are purportedly able to “use” sex to
control men, whereas the benevolent interpretation asserts that women are a
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Ambivalent Sexism at Home and at Work 447
valuable resource (e.g., essential for true happiness), even if they are (in some
ways) inferior.
Both men and women report subscribing to these ideologies, albeit to
varying degrees (Glick & Fiske, 1996; Kilianski & Rudman, 1998). Specifi cally,
across six U.S. samples, men consistently scored higher than women on HS,
presumably because it is not in women’s self-interest to endorse the hostile
components of patriarchy, gender differentiation, and heterosexual intimacy.
Men also scored higher than women on BS (in fi ve out of six samples); how-
ever, the gender gap for BS was signifi cantly smaller (Glick & Fiske, 2001).
More important, the two subscales were positively correlated in U.S. and
cross-cultural samples. The HS–BS correlation, however, was signifi cant for
women in 18 out of 19 samples, whereas, it was signifi cant for men in 13 out
of 19 samples. Moreover, averaging across the 19 samples, the correlation
was signifi cantly stronger for women as compared to men (average r = .37
versus .23; t (18) = 5.02, p < .01), suggesting that the relationship is stronger
and more universal among female participants. Why do these attitudes per-
sist even in the face of considerable social changes in gender relations? How,
in particular, are women induced to accept these beliefs (even if to a lesser
degree than men)?
Men are socially dominant by many measures (e.g., presence in high- status
roles, greater income) (United Nations Development Programme, 2006). Ac-
cording to system justifi cation theory, people are motivated to create beliefs
that reinforce the status quo, so that they can see the social system in which
they live as fair and legitimate ( Jost & Banaji, 1994). Therefore system justi-
fying gender ideologies emerge that refl ect and stabilize the current system.
Hostility alone, however, is a diffi cult strategy for keeping subordinates in
check. This leads dominant groups to prefer paternalistic ideologies toward
subordinates in order to justify the hierarchy, through conferring benefi ts
upon subordinates to keep them complacent ( Jackman, 1994). Subordinates,
ever sensitive to their position and the cultural view, are infl uenced by sta-
tus beliefs in their own behavior, and cooperate to maintain amicable condi-
tions (Sechrist & Stangor, 2001). The preference for paternalism as a system
justifying strategy is energized and made particularly necessary in the case
of gender because the dominant group has especially strong incentives to
reward and mollify the subordinate group members on whom they rely, en-
couraging warmth and cooperation within intimate heterosexual relation-
ships. Thus, BS is strongly rooted in the intimate interdependence of men and
women (i.e., within heterosexual romantic relationships). Overtly paternal-
istic ideologies toward racial and ethnic groups have largely broken down
and been exposed as exploitative in contemporary societies (e.g., consider
how antiquated as well as racist older depictions of Blacks—e.g., the “Uncle
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Tom” type of character in fi lms that preceded the Civil Rights movement or
White entertainers’ use of “black-face”—nw seem). In contrast, paternalism
toward women remains quite strong (e.g., the notion that women ought to
be rescued fi rst in emergencies), especially within the context of romantic
relationships (e.g., consider the likely reaction to a husband who takes the
last seat in the lifeboat, abandoning his wife on a sinking ship).
These paternalistic beliefs about men and women probably also generate
acceptance because they can be viewed as fl attering toward both sexes. For
men, being a “protector and provider” is a much more subjectively positive
identity than being an “exploiter” and provides greater legitimacy for their
social dominance. For women, the view that they are pure, morally superior,
and deserving of men’s protection is also a subjectively positive (even if pa-
tronizing) view of their group. Thus, for women, BS potentially solves the
confl ict between ego justifi cation, group justifi cation, and system justifi ca-
tion that Jost and Banaji (1994) suggest affl icts many subordinated groups
(for whom justifying the system typically would entail embracing a negative
view of themselves and/or their group).
Ambivalent sexism theory builds on the existing theories of gender-
based system justifi cation by demonstrating why it is that both hostile and
benevolent ideologies contribute to persistent prejudice and discrimination
against women. First, although BS is seemingly innocuous, and in certain
situations is perceived as benefi cial by women as well as men, it is problem-
atic because it is yoked to HS. At the societal level, BS does not exist without
HS and the resulting gender inequality. Comparisons of national averages
from 19 countries illustrate that benevolent and hostile sexism are highly
correlated with one another, and negatively correlated with other indicators
of gender equality in economic and political life (Glick, Fiske, et al., 2000).
Second, BS is selectively favorable toward women who occupy traditional
female roles. Ambivalent sexists reconcile their presumably confl icting ide-
ologies about women by directing benevolent beliefs toward traditional
women (idealizing homemakers) and hostile beliefs toward nontraditional
women (disliking career women) (Glick, Diebold, Bailey-Werner, & Zhu,
1997). Lastly, BS reduces women’s resistance to prejudice and discrimina-
tion, because benevolence can be used effectively to justify discriminatory
acts (Moya, Glick, Expósito, De Lemus, & Hart, 2007).
Further, recent work reveals that benevolent and hostile sexism are re-
lated to a variety of correlates of political ideology. The evidence suggest
that these individual differences validate sexism as system support, but in
two distinct ways. Hostile sexism relates more to competition for status and
power, whereas BS relates more to controlling women. For example, social
dominance orientation and the Protestant work ethic (both of which relate
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Ambivalent Sexism at Home and at Work 449
to concerns for status and intergroup competition) predict individuals’ en-
dorsement of HS (Christopher & Mull, 2006; Sibley, Wilson, & Duckitt, in
press). A symbolic example of how HS relates to diminishing women’s status
is that it predicts the likelihood of passing on female- and male- disparaging
jokes, as well as how funny men think they are (Thomas & Esses, 2004).
In contrast, right-wing authoritarianism, which has been shown to relate
to concerns with maintaining control and traditional values, predicts BS
(Christopher & Mull, 2006). Also along the lines of control and ambiguity
intolerance, intrinsic religiosity, extrinsic religiosity, and scriptural literalism
all positively relate to BS, but not HS (Burn & Busso, 2005), as does Catholi-
cism (Glick, Lameiras, Castro, 2002).
Ambivalently sexist ideologies work together not only to justify gen-
der hierarchy, but to maintain it by providing incentives (BS) for women to
fulfi ll gender-traditional ideals and punishments (HS) for those who seek
“too much” status and power. Further, AST, the content of Glick and Fiske’s
(1996) measure of ambivalent sexism, and the fi ndings described earlier, are
all consistent with the notion that BS accomplishes this goal mainly through
the idealization of women within heterosexual romantic relationships and
HS by derogating women who pose a threat to men’s status and power, espe-
cially in the workplace (where women have increasingly assumed positions
of authority). This is not to say that HS is irrelevant within relationships or
that BS has no effect on how women are treated in the workplace. Indeed, we
argue here that although BS is primarily sustained in contemporary society
because of its connection to heterosexual romance, it both serves to legitimize
HS and also itself spills over to the treatment of women at work. First, we
consider how ambivalent sexism (especially BS) is related to how men and
women conceive of and behave in heterosexual romantic relationships. We
then consider how the idealization of women in the private realm plays into
their exclusion from power and status in the public realm of the workplace.
Formed out of partners’ interdependence, BS functions to maintain that inter-
dependence by depicting men and women as complementary to each other:
men need women as caretakers and mothers to their offspring; women need
men to provide for them and keep them safe. These benevolent gender ideolo-
gies allow people to express positive views of their romantic partners while
nevertheless endorsing system justifying beliefs that perpetuate the power
differential between men and women by idealizing traditional partners, trans-
planting men’s greater power in society to heterosexual close relationships.
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Benevolent sexism is associated with traditionalism (Christopher & Mull,
2006; Sibley et al., in press). Specifi cally, BS is negatively related to Schwartz’s
(1992) self-direction values and positively associated with traditional val-
ues (Feather, 2004). Self-direction values include prioritizing independent
thought and action, freedom, and choosing one’s own goals. Traditional val-
ues, on the other hand, concern one’s cultural and religious customs. Such
traditionalism has very different consequences for women and men. Tradi-
tional values within heterosexual romantic relationships emphasize men’s
role as protector and provider, which requires success in the wider world. In
contrast, traditional values idealize women as homemakers who place home
life above worldly success, and BS promises them that they will achieve se-
curity and be provided for if they do so. Women high in BS, for example, are
more likely to use cosmetics, presumably because they feel dependent on at-
tracting a man who will provide (Franzoi, 2001). Furthermore, women who
implicitly associate their partner with chivalrous images show less interest
in education and career goals (Rudman & Heppen, 2003). In other words, a
woman who tends to think of her partner as a kind of Prince Charming is less
likely to pursue high-status or high-paying work. Not surprising then, BS is
associated with paternalistic chivalry (Viki, Abrams, & Hutchison, 2003).
Benevolent sexism also predicts evaluations of women (and presumably,
men also) depending on how they meet expectations of their gender. They
predict both positive responses to women who fulfi ll traditional female roles
(Glick, et al. 1997; Sibley & Wilson, 2004), and negative evaluations of women
who violate societal expectations of a chaste and virtuous female, such as
women who engage in premarital sex (Sakalli-Ugurlu & Glick, 2003). Benev-
olent sexism is also related to people’s blaming of victims of acquaintance
rape when their initial behavior violates ideals of feminine virtue (Abrams,
Viki, Masser, & Bohner, 2003; Viki & Abrams, 2002). Thus, benevolently sex-
ist ideology serves as a control strategy to keep women in check. Within close
relationships themselves, this is especially evident in the prescriptions and
proscriptions, or rules, that people hold about ideal romantic partners.
Lee, Fiske, and Glick (2007) investigated the intersection of sexist ideolo-
gies and close relationship ideals, especially how benevolent ideologies guide
personal relationship preferences (in terms of prescriptive and proscriptive
expectations of an ideal partner). Previous research has documented consis-
tent gender differences in mate preferences, with men preferring younger
women and women preferring men with resources and status (Buss, 1989;
Eagly & Wood, 1999). Two studies have empirically linked BS to these gender
differences. In one, BS predicted women’s preferences for an older man with
good earning potential and men’s preferences for a younger woman who
can cook (Eastwick et al., 2005). Likewise, BS predicted women’s tendency to
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Ambivalent Sexism at Home and at Work 451
look for a man with good earning potential and for men to look for a chaste
partner ( Johannesen-Schmidt & Eagly, 2002). Lee and colleagues (2007) ex-
amined, in addition to these gender differences in close relationship prefer-
ences, the rules that individuals establish for their partner, both the desired
aspects and the boundaries for undesired characteristics.
Specifi cally, Lee and colleagues (2007) asked undergraduate students to
describe the ideal close relationship partner’s characteristics, including ap-
pearance (e.g., face, attractiveness), attributes (e.g., nice, funny), behavior
(e.g., communicates with me, challenges me to be better), roles (e.g., con-
dante, caretaker), and origins (e.g., a particular ethnicity, a particular reli-
gious background). A reduced list of prescriptions was compiled from these
responses. Likewise, a list of proscriptions was created from participants’ re-
sponses to what the ideal partner should not be like or do. A different sample
of participants rated the importance of these prescriptions and proscriptions,
as well as their agreement with items from the short version of the Ambiva-
lent Sexism Inventory (Glick & Fiske, 1996).
Factor analysis revealed a great deal of overlap between women and men
on prescriptive ideals, revealing a few common concerns among men and
women. First, a prescription for a traditional partner emerged. In addition,
both men and women had some version of a strength prescription (e.g., as-
sertive). A warmth prescription describing a considerate and caring person,
and an attractiveness prescription, including general descriptions of physi-
cal appeal (e.g., good-looking, striking appearance), were similar for both
genders. Finally, women’s preferences revealed a fi fth dimension, a romantic
prescription for the male partner to be good with kids and to complete her—
also consistent with the notion that, due to dependence on men for resources,
women have a strong need to assess how willing the male partner is to invest
in her and her offspring.
Proscriptive ideals (i.e., clusters of undesirable traits prohibited in part-
ners) received less agreement between the sexes. Both men and women did
uphold some “general rejection” criteria, various characteristics that elimi-
nated a potential partner on the spot. For example, an uncaring or manip-
ulative partner would call for prompt rejection. Another concern men and
women shared was a partner too stereotypically feminine (e.g., too girly).
The women were generally less likely to endorse sexist ideologies (such
as HS and BS) than men. However, to the degree that they were sexist, it more
strongly guided women’s partner preferences than it did men’s. Further, BS
more strongly related to relationship ideals than did HS. Correlational and
regression analyses showed that the perceived importance of most relation-
ship ideals (both prescriptive and proscriptive) held by the female partici-
pants related to their belief in BS. The general pattern that emerged from
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the analyses revealed that benevolent ideology uniquely explained more
variance for more relationship ideals than did hostile ideology, especially for
women. More specifi cally, among women, BS was positively related to desire
for a romantic, strong partner who fulfi lls a traditional male role and is not
too feminine, as well as negatively related to an abusive or clingy partner.
Perhaps the most disturbing part is that the more a woman endorses benevo-
lently sexist beliefs, the less she rejected partners who might be abusive. Pos-
sibly, she requires a higher threshold before considering her partner’s acts
as abusive or intolerable. Recent research shows that women who are high
in BS were more likely to interpret a romantic partner’s restrictions on their
behavior as due to benevolent motives (he loves me and wants to protect me)
(Moya, et al., 2007).
In sum, Lee and colleagues’ (2007) study demonstrates that benevolently
sexist attitudes infl uence both men’s and women’s preferences for tradi-
tional partners, with stronger effects for women. The pattern of fi ndings re-
veals that BS is related more strongly to women’s ideals for a traditional
partner (described in various ways as romantic, strong, and fulfi lling a tra-
ditional male role) than men’s ideals, and more than HS guides both men’s
and women’s relationship ideals. Although women tend to reject overtly HS,
they are more willing to endorse benevolently sexist beliefs (Glick, Fiske,
et al., 2000). Women’s endorsement of BS, in turn, predicts their preferences
for traditional close relationship partners.
How important are women’s adherence to benevolently sexist beliefs and,
relatedly, their traditional partner preferences for the justifi cation and main-
tenance of gender hierarchy? We suggest that that answer is “extremely!” In
cross-national comparisons, women’s endorsement of BS has been found to
be strongly related (more so than men’s) to their adherence to other gender-
traditional ideologies, including HS (Glick, Fiske, et al., 2000; Glick, Lamei-
ras, Fiske, et al., 2004). A recent longitudinal study more directly suggests
that women’s endorsement of BS leads them, over time, to be more likely
to embrace HS (Sibley, Overall, & Duckitt, 2006). Finally, mere exposure to
BS has been found to increase women’s agreement with general system jus-
tifying beliefs ( Jost & Kay, 2005). Thus, women’s endorsement of BS (which
prominently features the conviction that a male partner will protect and pro-
vide for them) seems to be a key ingredient in getting women to accept a
traditional role, presumably by sweetening the pot, so that many women
are more content to value their domestic roles more than work opportunities
outside the home.
In addition to endorsement of BS itself, the traditional relationship val-
ues that BS reinforces are also important. The evolutionary view argues
that women’s mate preferences have selected men to be hypercompeti-
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Ambivalent Sexism at Home and at Work 453
tive seekers of status and resources, resulting in patriarchy (Trivers, 1972;
Sidanius & Pratto, 1999). Alternatively, the social structural view contends
that women’s preferences for powerful male partners is a response to pa-
triarchy, because when women depend on men for resources, they have
great incentive to prefer the men who are most successful at amassing
them (Eastwick et al., 2005). Whether one embraces either (or both) of these
views, women’s partner preferences are important because they increase
men’s incentive to compete for status and resources, at the very least per-
petuating a system in which men are likely to continue to dominate and to
resent women’s forays into powerful work roles (which shifts the balance
of power both at work and in relationships, by reducing women’s economic
dependence on men).
Thus, women’s benevolently sexist preferences in romantic relationships
are intimately connected to sexist beliefs and behaviors that affect women’s
participation in the workplace. Benevolently sexist ideals of women in rela-
tionships are the fl ip side of hostile sexist views of the inappropriateness of
women valuing careers over home life. The stereotypically sweet traits that
suit women to their domestic role confl ict with the harsher masculine traits
associated with powerful work roles. Women who exhibit these highly mas-
culine traits risk being viewed as unattractive to men (Prentice & Carranza,
2002). This, in combination with the subjective positivity of benevolently
sexist ideals of womanhood, leads many women to accept BS and the notion
that a powerful male partner (rather than an independent career) will protect
and provide for their well-being. In the next section, we explore how the BS
associated with the home sometimes spills over into the workplace, but also
serves as a justifi cation within the workplace context for the HS that excludes
women from powerful work roles.
By some accounts, women have closed the gender gap in the professional
realm. In the United States, women constitute 46% of the paid labor force (U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2006a) and 50% of paid managers ( U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics, 2006b). In 2004, 51% of the bachelor degrees awarded went
to women, as did 52% of advanced degrees, 35% of professional degrees, and
33% of doctorate degrees (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2004). However, in For-
tune 500 companies, women represent only 15.6% of top offi cers, and 6.7% of
most highly paid offi cers (Catalyst, 2006). In Congress, only 14% of Senators
and 15% of Congressional Representatives are female (Center for the Ameri-
can Woman and Politics, 2006). Clearly, the ratio of women in powerful lead-
ership positions falls disturbingly short of the population’s ratio.
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Some research suggests that these disparities originate in the diffi culty
some individuals have in reconciling their beliefs about women and their
beliefs about the nature of elite professional positions. Like stereotypes about
social groups, occupation stereotypes are seen as having well-defi ned gender
and status dimensions. Participants’ images of job types load on two orthog-
onal factors: prestige and gender type (Glick, Wilk, & Perreault, 1995). How-
ever, specifi c gender-related attributes (e.g., masculine personality traits)
load on the perceived occupational prestige factor, indicating that these at-
tributes are more closely related to prestige than to perceived gender-type of
the job. Indeed, masculine traits predict the prestige and salary of jobs (Glick,
1991). Thus, if employers have to hire someone for a prestigious position,
they are more likely to value masculine qualities and therefore more likely to
look for a man as the appropriate candidate.
Unfortunately, despite the overall subjective positivity of stereotypes
about women, which tend to be more favorable than stereotypes about men
(Eagly & Mladinic, 1993), the traits assigned to women are not those that
are typically valued at work (especially for prestigious jobs). Social-role
theory (Eagly, 1987) posits that gendered division of labor is the source of
the favorable elements of stereotypes about women; women are associated
with domestic roles (e.g., mother), which require communal qualities (e.g.,
warmth, patience), whereas men are associated with high-status roles (e.g.,
professional), which require agentic traits (e.g., competence, independence).
This theory is consistent with the notion that benevolently sexist beliefs are
rooted in women’s domestic and relationship roles and that these beliefs, in
turn, lead people to view women as less suited to high-status jobs outside
the home. Although the content of stereotypes for women are subjectively
positive, they are low in status. In a workplace situation, this means that
women are favored for low-status, feminine jobs, which include support po-
sitions that serve, mainly, male superiors (e.g., secretary) or paid versions of
women’s traditional domestic role (e.g., day care worker). When BS spills
over into the workplace, women may be seen as warmer, but are presumed
to be less competent than men, so that women are confi ned to feminine and
low-status roles. Additionally, BS in the workplace may elicit patronizing
discrimination (Glick & Fiske, 2007), which includes but is not limited to
handicapping via overhelping, taking over, and limiting the responsibilities
of targets (Rudman, Glick, & Phelan, 2007).
Patronizing discrimination, which is embedded in BS, maintains the
dominant group’s higher status. The double-edged nature of patronizing
discrimination is precisely what makes BS so insidious. It is not overtly hos-
tile and, in many cases, is seemingly benefi cial to the recipient. Furthermore,
the perpetrator may think he is helping the recipient. Women may accept
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Ambivalent Sexism at Home and at Work 455
paternalistic gestures either because they are not aware that they reinforce
the notion that women are suitable only for low-status roles, or because they
understand that to cooperate and accept benevolent gestures is a better alter-
native to enduring overt hostility.
Consider the consequences of refusing benevolent gestures or violating
feminine norms. If a woman elects to reject patronizing assistance, she is seen
uncooperative. As a result, the benefi ts of paternalism reserved for women
who stick to traditional gendered behavior are revoked, and backlash rooted
in HS can take its place. This is the paradox that women face in performance
settings: they have to provide strong counter-stereotypical information (e.g.,
that they are agentic and competent) in order to demonstrate that they are
qualifi ed for high-status professional roles (Glick, Zion, & Nelson, 1988), but
this deviation from prescribed and proscribed gender norms can elicit a back-
lash effect (Rudman, 1998). Manifestations of backlash effects include hiring
discrimination (Heilman, Wallen, Fuchs, & Tamkins, 2004), being judged more
harshly (Eagly, Makhijani, & Klonsky, 1992), being sabotaged (Rudman &
airchild, 2004), and being sexually harassed (Fiske & Glick, 1995). Research
demonstrates that endorsement of HS, but not BS, is related to more negative
evaluations and recommendations for female candidates for management po-
sitions, but more positive recommendations for male candidates (Masser &
Abrams, 2004). Moreover, women are bound by workplace culture norms; re-
search indicates that the social costs of making attributions to discrimination
prevent stigmatized individuals from dealing with instances in which they
have been discriminated against (Kaiser & Miller, 2001).
Gender stereotypes in concert with ambivalent sexism breed hostility to-
ward men as well. Benevolent attitudes toward men are based on the belief
that men must be instrumental and protective, whereas hostile attitudes to-
ward men are based on resentment of men’s social dominance (Glick & Fiske,
1999). Although HS is the origin of harassment for both genders, the moti-
vation the backlash against men and women differs. Women’s harassment
of men comes from female offenders’ needs to challenge male dominance,
whereas harassment of women arises from the need to reinforce female sub-
ordinate status (Berdahl, Magley, & Waldo, 1996). Same-sex sexual harass-
ment of men occurs because targeted men do not fi t offenders’ gender-role
stereotypes of heterosexual hypermasculinity; therefore these men incur
backlash effects similar to those of women who deviate from gender norms
(Stockdale, Visio, & Batra, 1999).
Working mothers pose a paradox all their own. Research from the Ste-
reotype Content Model (Fiske, Cuddy, Glick, & Xu, 2002) demonstrates that
homemakers are seen as cooperative and having low status and are there-
fore characterized as warm, but not competent. On the other hand, female
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professionals are seen as competitive and having high status and are there-
fore characterized as competent, but not warm. Glick and colleagues (1997)
have found that ambivalent sexists often reconcile their polarized attitudes
toward women by reserving benevolence for traditional women (e.g., home-
makers) and hostility for nontraditional women (e.g., business women).
What happens when a mother, normally a target of benevolence and pa-
ternalistic prejudice, works in a setting where women are more often the tar-
get of hostility and envious prejudice? Professional women exchange their
perceived competence for perceived warmth when they become mothers.
Cuddy, Fiske, and Glick (2004) found that a woman with a child was not
only perceived as less competent that a woman without a child, she was per-
ceived as less competent than she was before becoming a mother. Moreover,
competence predicted the likelihood that participants would hire, promote,
or further train an employee, whereas warmth did not, indicating that the
gain in warmth does not aid women, but the loss in competence does de-
tract from their appeal as an employee. Thus, having a child changes the
stereotypes that are associated with that woman, placing her in the domestic,
warm, and incompetent category, making her seem unfi t for the work force.
More recently, Heilman and Okimoto (2007) demonstrated another possible
consequence of becoming a working mother. In this study, penalties toward
competent (but cold) women were reduced when participants learned that
the target was a mother. In this case, becoming a mother did not lead to a di-
rect warmth–competence trade-off. Still, this fi nding again demonstrates how
diffi cult it is for women to be seen as simultaneously warm and competent
in the absence of explicit evidence that they are fulfi lling gender- prescribed
roles (e.g., mother). Working mothers are not the only case in which wom-
en’s gender role inhibits the perception of their work role, because gender is
such a salient social category (Fiske, 1998).
Sex role spillover (Gutek & Morasch, 1982) is the merging of gender roles
with work roles. In male-dominated settings, sex role and work role merge
for men by mere association, whereas women are highlighted as the visible
minority because their gender is incongruent with the sex role normally as-
sociated with the job (Gutek & Cohen, 1987). Making gender salient activates
associated status beliefs, which can lead perceivers to question a woman’s
qualifi cations, e.g., “She must be an affi rmative action hire.” Additionally,
women in nontraditional jobs experience more aggressive manifestations of
sex role spillover in the form of sexual overtures and harassment because
“woman as sex object” is another obvious element of their sex role (Gutek &
Morasch, 1982). A hostile interpretation of heterosexual intimacy can lead
perceivers to infer that female coworkers acquired their positions illegiti-
mately (e.g., by sleeping with a superior), because sexuality is supposedly
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Ambivalent Sexism at Home and at Work 457
the domain in which women have the perceived ability to control men.
Being perceived as “sexy” can elicit hostile reactions and lead people to per-
ceive sexual harassment as justifi ed (Muehlenhard & MacNaughton, 1988).
Although women are less tolerant of harassment than men are, ambivalent
sexism and hostility toward women predicts tolerance above and beyond
gender (Russell & Trigg, 2004).
Unfortunately, being seen as submissive can also lead to exploitation
(Richard, Rollerson, & Phillips, 1970). Because women do not believe that
they can be seen simultaneously as competent and sexual (Gutek, 1989),
irtatiousness and harassment have negative consequences for women’s self-
confi dence (Satterfi eld & Muehlenhard, 1997). Moreover, if women internal-
ize the objectifi cation, it can impact their future performance (Fredrickson,
Roberts, Noll, Quinn, & Twenge, 1998).
The pernicious effects of benevolent and hostile attitudes, however sub-
tle, have critical implications for gender relations and ratios in the work-
place. Ambivalent sexism theory provides a useful framework by which to
approach these issues and offers a way to explicate the intricacies of system
justifi cation enacted by women and men in the workplace.
We have suggested that ambivalent sexism shapes system maintaining be-
havior in both the private and public spheres, though neither is earthly
heaven nor purgatory as the two sides of the suffrage movement predicted.
Our central contention here is that the system justifying attitudes and the re-
sulting discrimination that restricts women in the public sphere cannot be
properly understood without considering well-entrenched, benevolently sex-
ist beliefs about women’s and men’s roles in romantic relationships and home
life. These romanticized ideals remain strong in contemporary society and—
because they fl atter each sex, although in very different ways—continue to be
attractive to both women and men.
Because of its subjectively positive tenor, BS seems harmless. Further, be-
cause it primarily refl ects attitudes about women and men in romantic rela-
tionships, it hardly seems like a prime candidate for explaining why women
face a glass ceiling at work. Yet, benevolently sexist ideals reinforce the view
that women’s priority should be hearth and home, as well as that men ought
to excel in the competitive world of work, so that they can effectively protect
and provide for their female dependents. These system justifying beliefs not
only set up the “soft bigotry of low expectations” for women as leaders, but
the hard bigotry of backlash against women who fail to live up to benevo-
lently sexist prescriptions. Hostile sexism and the exclusion of women who
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seek or obtain power and status in the public realm is legitimated and jus-
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... This mix of dominance versus vulnerability is due to the two theorized sources of hostile sexism. The first involves how hostile sexism rationalizes and maintains gender inequalities across career, political, and domestic domains by expressing threats, discrimination, and violence toward women (Cikara, Lee, Fiske, & Glick, 2009;Glick & Fiske, 1996;Jackman, 1994). For instance, hostile sexism is associated with a trait-like preference for societal groups to be structured in a hierarchical power-determined way (i.e., social dominance orientation ;Sibley et al., 2007). ...
... Benevolent sexism counterbalances these costs by prescribing that men should protect, provide for, and cherish women, and in return, men will be fulfilled by women via their morality, purity, and care (Glick & Fiske, 1996;Ramos, Barreto, Ellemers, Moya, & Ferreira, 2018). These prescriptions emphasize that men are particularly suited to holding high-status societal roles, such as being political leaders or CEOs, and therefore rationalize societal inequalities as being fair and deserved (Becker & Wright, 2011;Cikara et al., 2009). These prescriptions also provide a justification for women being disproportionally represented in domestic and caregiving roles (Becker & Wright, 2011;Cikara et al., 2009; also see Sibley et al., 2007). ...
... These prescriptions emphasize that men are particularly suited to holding high-status societal roles, such as being political leaders or CEOs, and therefore rationalize societal inequalities as being fair and deserved (Becker & Wright, 2011;Cikara et al., 2009). These prescriptions also provide a justification for women being disproportionally represented in domestic and caregiving roles (Becker & Wright, 2011;Cikara et al., 2009; also see Sibley et al., 2007). In sum, one source of benevolent sexism is the motive to frame gender inequality in a positive way, thus reducing the discomfort of living in unfair contexts in which men hold more advantages than women. ...
Full-text available
Ambivalent sexism theory recognizes that sexist attitudes maintain gender inequalities via sociocultural and close relationship processes. This review advances established work on sociocultural processes by showing how people's need for relationship security is also central to the sources and functions of sexism. Men's hostile sexism—overtly derogatory attitudes toward women—involves insecurities about women exploiting men's relational dependence. Accordingly, men's hostile sexism predicts relational aggression when their dependence on partners is risky. Men's benevolent sexism—patronizing and protective attitudes toward women—offers men relationship security by idealizing traditional gender roles in romantic relationships. Benevolent sexism also appeals to women who seek the security of a devoted partner, but requires women to invest in their relationship at the expense of their independence. Our relationship science perspective reveals that romantic (in)security is critical to why people adopt sexist attitudes and why sexist attitudes create differential costs and benefits for women and men.
... More recent work has shown that different contexts have different systems of gender relations embedded in stereotypical representations and that these systems complement each other in ways that support the status quo. For example, Cikara and colleagues (Cikara et al. 2009) found that women's power and positive stereotypes in the domestic sphere impeded their power and progress in the public sphere. Becker (2010) found that women endorsed hostile sexist beliefs when thinking about women in the work context but benevolent sexist beliefs when thinking about women in the domestic sphere. ...
... Based on SJT we expected women to endorse traditional/ patriarchal ideals for masculinity in some contexts (Hypothesis 1), but based on HM we expect these to differ across contexts (Hypothesis 2). Specifically, based on qualitative research (Talbot and Quayle 2010) and quantitative research on benevolent sexism (Becker 2010;Cikara et al. 2009), we expected women to endorse traditional patriarchal versions of masculinity in domestic and romantic contexts (Hypothesis 2a). We were less sure about women's ideals for masculinity in the work context because Talbot and Quayle's (2010) South African participants endorsed relatively non-patriarchal versions of masculinity in the work context, but in other countries research suggests that stereotypes of masculinity at work are likely to be traditional and patriarchal (Becker 2010;Cikara et al. 2009). ...
... Specifically, based on qualitative research (Talbot and Quayle 2010) and quantitative research on benevolent sexism (Becker 2010;Cikara et al. 2009), we expected women to endorse traditional patriarchal versions of masculinity in domestic and romantic contexts (Hypothesis 2a). We were less sure about women's ideals for masculinity in the work context because Talbot and Quayle's (2010) South African participants endorsed relatively non-patriarchal versions of masculinity in the work context, but in other countries research suggests that stereotypes of masculinity at work are likely to be traditional and patriarchal (Becker 2010;Cikara et al. 2009). We therefore tentatively expected ideals for work masculinity to be relatively egalitarian in South Africa (Hypothesis 2b). ...
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The present study explores women’s ideals for masculinity in different social contexts (work, family/romance, and friendship) and compares how traditional (agentic) and non-patriarchal (communal) masculinity are valued in each context. Survey data were collected from one international (N = 159) and three South African samples (Ns = 86, 100, 161) of women. Results show that although women value patriarchal ideals for masculinity, agentic and communal versions of masculinity are valued differently across contexts. Specifically, traditional agentic versions of masculinity were most valued in the contexts most important to the long-term production of viable identity (family/romance and work). It was only in friendship that non-patriarchal communal masculinity was consistently idealized over traditional agentic masculinity. The results are discussed in relation to hegemonic masculinity (HM) and system justification theory (SJT). Congruent with SJT, women idealized versions of masculinity that may not be in their own or their group’s best interests, but in line with HM, the results emphasized the fluidity of masculinity and that the same individual can simultaneously idealize different versions of masculinity depending on the context. Because stereotypes are both explanations for the status quo and warrants for behaving in one way or another, these collective ideals for masculinity and contextual boundaries may be important obstacles to achieving gender equity.
... Puesto que de manera histórica y sistemática a las mujeres se les ha considerado como miembros de un grupo de bajo estatus (Ellemers & Barreto, 2001), se les atribuyen estereotipos que legitiman el dominio social masculino (Cikara, Lee, Fiske, & Glick, 2009). De hecho, algunos estudios muestran que los hombres tienen la percepción de merecer más en comparación con las mujeres (Blanton, George, & Crocker, 2001;Crosby, Stockdale, & Ropp, 1947;Jost, 1997;O'Brien & Major, 2009;Pelham & Hetts, 2001). ...
... El sesgo perceptivo de la creencia en el mundo justo promueve que los individuos tiendan a percibir que los hombres merecen tener un estatus mayor al de las mujeres y que, incluso, cuando se encuentran en la situación de sexismo, tiendan a justificarlo, minimizarlo y ratificar su creencia en los estereotipos de que las mujeres son menos competentes que los hombres. Asimismo, esta creencia es una estrategia que se incentiva en los sistemas donde hay altos niveles de desigualdad, como lo es México, para mantener la legitimización del dominio de los grupos de alto estatus y mantener en inacción a los grupos de bajo estatus como las mujeres (Cikara et al., 2009). Las mujeres al ser oprimidas crónicamente a nivel individual e institucional pueden cooperar con el mantenimiento de la inequidad, debido al acuerdo con la creencia en el mundo justo ya que les es útil para evitar el desagrado y la disonancia que se produce al enfrentarse a situaciones de injusticia (Cruz, 2013) tales como los efectos producidos por el sexismo. ...
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El sexismo hostil se refiere a actitudes negativas hacia las mujeres que las definen como menos competentes que los hombres. El sexismo benevolente se refiere a actitudes supuestamente positivas hacia ellas, pero que refuerzan los roles de género tradicionales. En conjunto, ambos componen el sexismo ambivalente. Por su parte, la creencia en el mundo justo es la creencia de que las personas reciben lo que merecen. La creencia en el mundo justo se ha relacionado con el prejuicio, ya que se ha demostrado que las desigualdades sociales se justifican cognitivamente. Con el objetivo de conocer si la creencia en el mundo justo es predictor de las dimensiones del sexismo ambivalente se realizaron análisis de regresión lineal múltiple. Se utilizó el inventario de sexismo ambivalente y el instrumento de creencia en el mundo justo. Participaron 350 personas mexicanas de entre 18 y 27 años. Se trata de un estudio no experimental transversal de un grupo. Los resultados indican que los factores que componen la creencia en el mundo justo son predictores positivos del sexismo ambivalente en sus dos dimensiones: hostil y benevolente, tanto en hombres como en mujeres, ya que incentiva la legitimización del domino masculino y refuerza el acuerdo con el statu quo, por lo que favorece el acuerdo con creencias sexistas. Se discute el efecto de la creencia en el mundo justo como estrategia de enfrentamiento ante la inequidad y su efecto en el mantenimiento de los prejuicios como el sexismo.
... Consequently, this view of males and females in leadership affects the hierarchical status of the two genders in societies. Status affects recognition, which in this case is higher for males (Randall & Coakley, 2007;Cikara & Fiske, 2009;Ridgeway & Correll, 2004). Based on these perspectives, this study therefore examined the relationship between female head teachers sense of recognition and job satisfaction. ...
Conference Paper
This thesis investigated factors that influence job satisfaction in the eastern province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, based on a case study of female headteachers. This investigation has focused only on female headteachers as the laws and social circumstances of the country forbid cross-gender socialising outide of the immediate family. Instead, the research on headteachers in Saudi Arabia undertaken in this study was aimed at discovering what factors influenced their job satisfaction, bearing in mind that gender specific issues were limited by the context in which the investigation took place. General research on headteachers in the Kingdom was found to be an underexplored topic, but in contrast to previous Saudi studies, the sample used in this study was not restricted to one stage of school. In order to evaluate participants responses, this study used a sequential exploratory strategy employing a mixed methods approach. Building on semi-structured interviews, the first sample of the study gathered data from 20 head teachers to determine which factors led to job satisfaction or dissatisfaction. The research investigated various contributory factors such as rewards i.e. pay, recognition, promotion and training; the female environment and the relationship with workload and work-life-balance; the working environment i.e. school condition, school location and student headcount); relationships with teachers, students and parents; supervision, authority and autonomy; age and experience, and school-level issues. These factors were subsequently used to build a questionnaire, which was intended to be sent to 664 schools (numbers provided by the Ministry of Education). When starting the research, however, it was found that 186 of these schools did not have a headteacher in post. Consequently, the final sample size was 478 headteachers. Finally, in the third stage of the sequential research, semi-structured interviews were held with nine headteachers to verify the results of the survey. The overall level of job satisfaction for elementary, middle and high schools headteachers in the Eastern Province was generally low average. However, it was found that factors causing high and average job satisfaction derive from multiple demographic isues or independent causes in the workplace. Specifically, this study has identified several factors related to job satisfaction in the Eastern Province that have not been previously found in previous research in Saudi Arabia: work/life balance, the female leadership-environment, location, financial rewards and transportation. This study’s findings could inform the work of educational planners, helping them to improve their understanding of the most important aspects of the career of headteachers. In addition, this research provides a contribution that could assist public policy development in education; furthermore, it provides an understanding of what to avoid and what works most effectively. Future policy could be better informed by understanding the factors that affect levels of satisfaction or dissatisfaction and implementing more appropriate policy objectives that deploy resources more effectively.
... Honour codes are closely related to sexist attitudes (Cihangir, 2013;Rodriguez Mosquera, 2011). Sexism presents itself with discriminatory policies and behaviours at home, in business, and in public life (Cikara, Lee, Fiske, & Glick, 2009). The function of sexism is to keep women in lower positions in social, cultural, political, and economic terms (Cudd & Jones, 2005). ...
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Ambivalent sexism and related issues such as rape myths and gendered social norms serve to maintain structural gender inequalities. Exploring the implications of benevolent and hostile sexism separately in social practice, such as retaliatory acts in honour cultures, is essential for understanding gender‐based violence and inequalities. Although a vast majority of research focused on direct and interpersonal aggressive response or retaliatory acts against the honour threat in honour cultures, little is known about subtler collective social processes in honour‐damaging situations. To address the gap in our understanding of how retaliatory responses are carried out against honour threat in a subtler and collective way, we focused on the rising demands for reinstatement of the death penalty to stop the increased rates of sexual violence in Turkey as a collective retaliatory response against honour‐threat. To test this argument, we conducted a survey study with 450 participants to examine the role of ambivalent sexism, the gendered norms of honour culture, and rape myths in supporting the death penalty for rape offenders in Turkey. The results indicate that ambivalent sexism and honour culture's gendered norms predicted support for capital punishment. Furthermore, hostile sexism moderated the relationship between rape myth acceptance and support for death penalty. We find that individuals who have high hostile sexism and strong rape myth acceptance do not support capital punishment. These findings contribute to our understanding of the social mechanisms related to hostile and benevolent sexism which results in support for the death penalty in Turkey.
... Greater relationship problems and lower relationship satisfaction predict greater depression, lower life satisfaction, poorer general health and greater risk of disease (Holt-Lunstad, Smith, & Layton, 2010;House, Landis, & Umberson, 1988). Similarly, if direct exposure to hostile sexism promotes similar problems for women in workplace and professional domains as we suspect, then the resulting workplace dissatisfaction (Cikara, Lee, Fiske, & Glick, 2009) and disengagement from professional domains (Davies, Spencer, & Steele, 2005;Steele, 1997) will also have more general implications for women's well-being. Thus, the association between men's hostile sexism and the problems women experience in important domains is likely to have detrimental consequences for women's psychological and physical health. ...
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Men's hostile sexism promotes aggressive attitudes, motivations and behaviours toward women. Despite the costs these effects should have for women, prior research has failed to test how men's hostile sexism predicts the problems women experience in important domains. We address this oversight by utilizing dyadic data from 363 heterosexual couples to test how male partners’ hostile sexism predicts women's relationship experiences and evaluations. Male partners’ hostile sexism was associated with women experiencing more severe problems across a greater number of domains. Moreover, the areas experienced as most problematic were consistent with the power, dependence, and trust concerns underlying men's hostile sexism, including problems with power dynamics, jealousy, and serious problems involving gender‐role conflict, abuse, infidelity and alcohol/drugs. The greater problems associated with male partners’ hostile sexism predicted more negative relationship evaluations for women. These results demonstrate the importance of examining how men's hostile sexism harms women in important life domains. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... Hostile and benevolent work norms reflect ambivalent sexism (Glick & Fiske, 1996). Hostile work norms include antagonizing behaviors that devalue women's abilities such as talking over women in meetings or giving men credit for women's work (Cikara, Lee, Fiske, & Glick, 2009). Benevolent work norms involve paternalistic behaviors such as offering women extra help on challenging assignments or treating women as if they are sweeter and friendlier than men (Kuchynka et al., 2018). ...
... Endorsement of BS also predicts attitudes that serve to limit women's autonomy during pregnancy, including willingness to prevent women from making choices that participants think might be risky for the fetus (Murphy, Sutton, Douglas & McClellan, 2011;, and opposition to abortion (Huang, Davies, Sibley, & Osborne, 2016;Osborne & Davies, 2012). BS makes traditional gender roles (e.g., housewife, mother) appealing for women, and rewards conformity to traditional gender expectations (Cikara, Lee, Fiske, & Glick, 2009;Glick, Diebold, Bailey-Werner, & Zhu, 1997;Glick & Fiske, 2001). ...
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Perceptions of warmth play a central role in social cognition. Seven studies employ observational, correlational, and experimental methods to examine its role in concealing the functions of benevolent sexism. Together, Studies 1 (n = 297), 2 (n = 252) and 3 (n = 219) indicated that although women recall experiencing benevolent (vs. hostile) sexism more often, they protest it less often, because they see it as warm. In Studies 4 (n = 296) and 5 (n = 361), describing men as high in benevolent sexism caused them (via warmth) to be seen as lower in hostile sexism and more supportive of gender equality. In Study 6 (n = 283) these findings were replicated and extended, revealing misunderstanding of relationships between BS and a wide array of its correlates. In Study 7 (n = 211), men experimentally described as harboring warm (vs. cold) attitudes toward women were perceived as higher in benevolent sexism but lower in known correlates of benevolent sexism. These findings demonstrate that the warm affective tone of benevolent sexism, particularly when displayed by men, masks its ideological functions.
... Hostile sexism, on the other hand, is more overt and results in women engaging in collective action against inequality (Becker & Wright, 2011). Further, those women who challenge benevolent sexism are seen as cold and unlikeable by benevolent sexists (Becker, Glick, Ilic, & Bohner, 2011) because rebuking these paternalistic sentiments dispels romanticised patriarchal ideals of women as amiable and gentle Cikara, Lee, Fiske, & Glick, 2009). Thus, paternalistic expressions of prejudice are highly effective at dominating subordinate groups and undermining their attempts at group resistance. ...
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Prejudice towards gay men has almost exclusively been characterised as hostility. However, myriad other groups have been found to be targets hostile and benevolent (i.e., ambivalent) prejudice. Scholars have attempted to conceptualise ambivalent prejudice towards sexual minorities, but they are based on uncertain theoretical foundations. The aims of the current programme of research were, therefore, to develop a novel theory of ambivalent prejudice towards gay men in light of emerging literature, to further develop and nuance the nascent constructs of adversarial, repellent, romanticised, and paternalistic homoprejudice using qualitative methods, to develop a scale with which to measure the endorsement of such prejudice in the United Kingdom, and to provide evidence outlining the measure’s psychometric utility. A series of three empirical studies consisting of a focus group study on heterosexuals (n = 12) and gay men (n = 10), a large-scale survey study (n = 801), and a study of test-retest reliability (n = 131) were undertaken in order to address these aims. The qualitative findings corroborated and elaborated upon the initial theory development, suggesting that it offers a valid theoretical alternative to other theories. The exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, and construct validation produced a multidimensional measure comprising the constructs identified in the earlier theory development and qualitative study. The proposed factor structure demonstrated good model fit and each subscale demonstrated good convergent, discriminant, and known-groups validity as well as good internal consistency and temporal stability. Altogether, these findings challenged competing theories’ accounts of attitudinal ambivalence towards gay men, offered a novel reconceptualization of these attitudes that was well-grounded in both data and theory, and produced a measurement tool with promising psychometric utility. Directions for future research such as further scale validation and behavioural studies are proposed and the implications of these findings on theory in this area is outlined.
Stereotype research emphasizes systematic processes over seemingly arbitrary contents, but content also may prove systematic. On the basis of stereotypes' intergroup functions, the stereotype content model hypothesizes that (a) 2 primary dimensions are competence and warmth, (b) frequent mixed clusters combine high warmth with low competence (paternalistic) or high competence with low warmth (envious), and (c) distinct emotions (pity, envy, admiration, contempt) differentiate the 4 competence-warmth combinations. Stereotypically, (d) status predicts high competence, and competition predicts low warmth. Nine varied samples rated gender, ethnicity, race, class, age, and disability out-groups. Contrary to antipathy models, 2 dimensions mattered, and many stereotypes were mixed, either pitying (low competence, high warmth subordinates) or envying (high competence, low warmth competitors). Stereotypically, status predicted competence, and competition predicted low warmth.
Past research has demonstrated the powerful influence other people have on the thoughts and behaviors of individuals. However, the study of intergroup attitudes has focused primarily on the influence of direct exposure to out-group members as determinants of stereotypes and prejudice. Two experiments tested the hypothesis that learning that others share one's intergroup beliefs influences intergroup attitudes and behavior as well as stereotype representation. Experiment 1 demonstrated that learning that one's beliefs are shared or not shared with others influences attitudes, behavior, and the strength of the attitude-behavior relationship. Experiment 2 demonstrated a potential mechanism for such effects by showing that learning about whether others share one's stereotypes influences the accessibility of those stereotypes and related stereotypes.
Part I. From There to Here - Theoretical Background: 1. From visiousness to viciousness: theories of intergroup relations 2. Social dominance theory as a new synthesis Part II. Oppression and its Psycho-Ideological Elements: 3. The psychology of group dominance: social dominance orientation 4. Let's both agree that you're really stupid: the power of consensual ideology Part III. The Circle of Oppression - The Myriad Expressions of Institutional Discrimination: 5. You stay in your part of town and I'll stay in mine: discrimination in the housing and retail markets 6. They're just too lazy to work: discrimination in the labor market 7. They're just mentally and physically unfit: discrimination in education and health care 8. The more of 'them' in prison, the better: institutional terror, social control and the dynamics of the criminal justice system Part IV. Oppression as a Cooperative Game: 9. Social hierarchy and asymmetrical group behavior: social hierarchy and group difference in behavior 10. Sex and power: the intersecting political psychologies of patriarchy and empty-set hierarchy 11. Epilogue.
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This study investigated the attitudes and experiences of women who believe that “leading a man on” justifies rape. Participants were 206 female undergraduates who were identified as either low, medium, or high in the degree to which they held this belief. Participants read one of two stories about a woman who behaved either “suggestively” or “modestly” on a date that ended with her being raped. They then answered questions concerning their attitudes toward the woman, the man, and the rape. Women in the high-belief group rated the rape as more justified; they rated the woman more negatively, including seeing her as more responsible for what happened; they were less likely to regard the incident as rape, especially if the woman had acted suggestively. Medium- and high-belief women were also more likely than low-belief women to have been involved in unwanted sexual intercourse obtained through verbal coercion. Thus this belief might increase the risk of sexual coercion if the woman feels that—or if the man c...