Ambivalent sexism in close relationships: (Hostile) power and (benevolent) romance shape relationship ideals

Tiane L. Lee, Susan T. Fiske, Peter Glick, Zhixia Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Gender-based structural power and heterosexual dependency produce ambivalent gender ideologies, with hostility and benevolence separately shaping close-relationship ideals. The relative importance of romanticized benevolent versus more overtly power-based hostile sexism, however, may be culturally dependent. Testing this, northeast US (N = 311) and central Chinese (N = 290) undergraduates rated prescriptions and proscriptions (ideals) for partners and completed Ambivalent Sexism and Ambivalence toward Men Inventories (ideologies). Multiple regressions analyses conducted on group-specific relationship ideals revealed that benevolent ideologies predicted partner ideals, in both countries, especially for US culture's romance-oriented relationships. Hostile attitudes predicted men's ideals, both American and Chinese, suggesting both societies' dominant-partner advantage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-601
Number of pages19
JournalSex Roles
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Apr 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Gender Studies


  • Ambivalent sexism
  • Close relationships
  • Culture
  • Gender roles
  • Power
  • Romance


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