, Volume 51, Issue 11-12, pp 687-696

Differentiating Hostile and Benevolent Sexist Attitudes Toward Positive and Negative Sexual Female Subtypes

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Abstract

Expressions of hostile and benevolent sexism toward a female character whose behavior was consistent with either a positive (i.e., chaste) or negative (i.e., promiscuous) sexual female subtype were examined. Consistent with the theory that benevolent and hostile sexism form complementary ideologies that serve to maintain and legitimize gender-based social hierarchies, men expressed increased hostile, but decreased benevolent,sexism toward a female character who fit a negative subtype, whereas they expressed increased benevolent, but decreased hostile, sexism toward a female character who fit a positive subtype that was consistent with traditional gender roles. Furthermore, men’s sexual self-schema moderated expressions of hostile sexism across subtypes, whichsuggests that men who think of themselves in sexual terms (i.e., those who are sexuallyschematic) may be predisposed to (a) interpret information about women in sexual terms and categorize women into positive or negative sexual female subtypes on the basis of limited information, which leads to (b) increased hostile sexist attributions when womenare perceived as fitting a negative sexual subtype. These findings emphasize the role of both social dominance motives and the more subtle sociocognitive processes underlyinggender stereotyping in the expression of ambivalent sexism.