Authors are listed alphabetically and contributed equally to the writing of this article. The authors wish to thank Tally Katz-Gerro, Meir Yaish, and Amalia Sa'ar for their helpful comments on previous versions of this article.
Chivalry and the Moderating Effect of Ambivalent Sexism: Individual Differences in Crime Seriousness Judgments
Version of Record online: 19 FEB 2008
© 2008 by The Law and Society Association. All rights reserved.
Law & Society Review
Volume 42, Issue 1, pages 45–74, March 2008
How to Cite
Herzog, S. and Oreg, S. (2008), Chivalry and the Moderating Effect of Ambivalent Sexism: Individual Differences in Crime Seriousness Judgments. Law & Society Review, 42: 45–74. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-5893.2008.00334.x
- Issue online: 19 FEB 2008
- Version of Record online: 19 FEB 2008
Previous studies have shown that female offenders frequently receive more lenient judgments than equivalent males. Chivalry theories argue that such leniency is the result of paternalistic, benevolent attitudes toward women, in particular toward those who fulfill stereotypical female roles. Yet to date, studies have not examined whether such leniency is indeed associated with paternalistic societal attitudes toward women. The present study goes beyond the investigation of demographics and employs Glick and Fiske's (1996) concepts of hostile and benevolent sexism. We use these concepts to highlight the role of individual differences in attitudes toward women as a key to our understanding of lenient attitudes toward female offenders. Eight hundred forty respondents from a national sample of Israeli residents evaluated the seriousness of hypothetical crime scenarios with (traditional and nontraditional) female and male offenders. As hypothesized, hostile and benevolent sexism moderate the effect of women's “traditionality” on respondents' crime seriousness judgments and on the severity of sentences assigned.