Measuring Ambivalent Sexist Attitudes Toward Women


Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Peter Glick, Department of Psychology, Lawrence University, Appleton, WI 54912-0599. Email:


A theory of sexism as ambivalence, not just hostility, toward women is presented. Ambivalent Sexism Theory distinguishes between hostile and “benevolent” sexism (each addresses issues of power, gender differentiation, and sexuality). Benevolent sexism encompasses subjectively positive (for the sexist) 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. 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 measures of sexist attitudes (e.g., the AWS), with suggestions for the proper domains of different scales.