Sex Roles

, 57:743

When Women Become More Hostilely Sexist toward their Gender: The System-Justifying Effect of Benevolent Sexism


    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Auckland
  • Nickola C. Overall
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Auckland
  • John Duckitt
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Auckland
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11199-007-9306-1

Cite this article as:
Sibley, C.G., Overall, N.C. & Duckitt, J. Sex Roles (2007) 57: 743. doi:10.1007/s11199-007-9306-1


Two longitudinal studies examined the system-justifying effect of women’s benevolent sexist ideology in New Zealand female undergraduate samples. Women’s endorsement of benevolent sexism predicted longitudinal changes in hostile sexist attitudes toward their gender over 6-month (study 1; n = 117) and 12-month (study 2; n = 76) periods. Consistent with Ambivalent Sexism Theory, these findings indicate that women’s endorsement of benevolent sexism disarms resistance to, and increases their endorsement of, more hostile forms of sexism directed toward their gender. However, the disarming effect of benevolent sexism occurred only for women high in Right-Wing Authoritarianism (study 2), suggesting that threat-driven authoritarian motivations for collective security and social cohesion cause women to actively participate in an ideological system that perpetuates gender inequality.


Ambivalent SexismSystem justification theoryHostile SexismBenevolent SexismRight-Wing Authoritarianism

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007