The authors argue that complementary hostile and benevolent components of sexism exist across cultures. Male dominance creates hostile sexism (HS), but men's dependence on women fosters benevolent sexism (BS) - subjectively positive attitudes that put women on a pedestal but reinforce their subordination Research with 15,000 men and women in 19 nations showed that (a) HS and BS are coherent constructs that correlate positively across nations, but (b) HS predicts the ascription of negative and BS the ascription of positive traits to women, (c) relative to men, women are more likely to reject HS than BS, especially when overall levels of sexism in a culture are high, and (d) national averages on BS and HS predict gender inequality across nations. These results challenge prevailing notions of prejudice as an antipathy in that BS (an affectionate, patronizing ideology) reflects inequality and is a cross-culturally pervasive complement to HS.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science