Ambivalent Sexism in Close Relationships: (Hostile) Power and (Benevolent) Romance Shape Relationship Ideals
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- Lee, T.L., Fiske, S.T., Glick, P. et al. Sex Roles (2010) 62: 583. doi:10.1007/s11199-010-9770-x
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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.