Ann R. Fischer, Department of Psychology, Southern Illinois University–Carbondale.
WOMEN'S BENEVOLENT SEXISM AS REACTION TO HOSTILITY
Version of Record online: 7 NOV 2006
Psychology of Women Quarterly
Volume 30, Issue 4, pages 410–416, December 2006
How to Cite
Fischer, A. R. (2006), WOMEN'S BENEVOLENT SEXISM AS REACTION TO HOSTILITY. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 30: 410–416. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.2006.00316.x
Many thanks to Nancy Hammoudah, Jennifer Davidson, Colleen Seaton, Jennifer Gregory, and Jessica Talbot for help with data collection and to Steven Galka and Sandra Piedrahita Palacio for data entry. Thanks also to Ball State University, where a portion of this research was conducted.
- Issue online: 7 NOV 2006
- Version of Record online: 7 NOV 2006
- Initial submission: July 25, 2005 Initial acceptance: February 20, 2006 Final acceptance: May 11, 2006
Grounded in the theory of ambivalent sexism, this study tested the speculation that women's benevolent sexist attitudes may be, in part, a self-protective response to environments they perceive as hostile to women. Data that have indirectly supported this conjecture thus far have been correlational. The current study involved a more powerful, experimental test of the hypothesis. Women (N= 105) were randomly assigned to one of three conditions, which differed only in what participants were told about research findings on men's attitudes toward women (negative or positive attitudes, or no information). As predicted, benevolent sexist attitudes—but not hostile sexist attitudes—were strongest for women told that men hold negative attitudes toward women. This effect is consistent with a benevolent sexism-as-protest explanation and was statistically significant even while controlling for attitudes toward feminism. The differential effect of beliefs about men's attitudes on these two types of sexism lends further support to the idea that, although hostile and benevolent sexism are related, they may serve different functions.