Sex Roles

, Volume 66, Issue 7–8, pp 453–467 | Cite as

Ambivalence Toward Men: Comparing Sexism Among Polish, South African and British University Students

  • Magdalena Zawisza
  • Russell Luyt
  • Anna Maria Zawadzka
Original Article

Abstract

This study extends the literature on attitudes toward gender roles by exploring whether the nature of sexism (i.e., benevolence and hostility directed at men) differs among university students from two under-researched countries, Poland (n = 190) and South Africa (n = 188), in a comparison with students in the United Kingdom (n = 166). Based on empirical literature applying Ambivalent Sexism Theory, and in the light of the socio-political context, it was hypothesized that: (1) both hostile and benevolent attitudes toward men in Poland would be more liberal than in South Africa and more conservative than in the United Kingdom, and (2), women would exhibit more hostile but less benevolent attitudes than men in relatively more conservative South Africa. The Ambivalence to Men Inventory was used to measure the two types of sexist attitudes about men. Findings supported the first hypothesis for hostile attitudes and partially for benevolent attitudes. South African and Polish students were more benevolent and hostile to men than British students, and students from South Africa were more hostile than those from Poland. Moreover, as predicted, a significant country-by-gender interaction revealed that South African women had more hostile and less benevolent attitudes to men than South African men. No such gender gap was present in the case of hostile attitudes in Poland and benevolent attitudes in the United Kingdom. Findings are discussed in terms of Ambivalent Sexism Theory and the countries’ socio-cultural context.

Keywords

Ambivalent sexism Gender attitudes Poland United Kingdom South Africa 

References

  1. Becker, J. C. (2010). Why do women endorse hostile and benevolent sexism? The role of salient female subtypes and internalization of sexist contents. Sex Roles, 62, 453–467. doi:10.1007/s11199-009-9707-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ben-Porath, Y. S. (1990). Cross-cultural assessment of personality: The case for replicatory factor analysis. In J. N. Butcher & C. D. Spielberger (Eds.), Advances in personality assessment (Vol. 8, pp. 27–48). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  3. Bhana, A., Zimmerman, R., & Cupp, P. (2008). Gender role attitudes and sexual risk among adolescents in South Africa. Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, 3, 112–119. doi:10.1080/17450120701867546.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Blau, F. D., Brinton, M. C., & Grusky, D. B. (2006). The declining significance of gender? New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  5. Boski, P., Chojnowska, M., & Koziej, J. (2007). Kultura i tożsamość rodzaju: porównania polsko-włoskie i polsko-niemieckie [Culture and gender identity: Polish-Italian and Polish-German comparison]. Psychological Studies, 45(2), 5–20.Google Scholar
  6. Braun, M., & Scott, J. (2009). Gender-role egalitarianism—is the trend reversal real? International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 21, 362–367. doi:10.1093/ijpor/edp032.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Crompton, R., Brockmann, M., & Lyonette, C. (2005). Attitudes, women’s employment and the domestic division of labour: A cross-national analysis of two waves. Work, Employment & Society, 19, 213–233. doi:10.1177/0950017005053168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dodoo, F. N., & Frost, A. E. (2008). Gender in African population research: The fertility/reproductive health example. Annual Review of Sociology, 34, 431–451. doi:10.1146/annurev.soc.34.040507.134552.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dorius, S. F., & Alwin, D. F. (2010). The global development of egalitarian beliefs—a decomposition of trends in the nature and structure of gender ideology. Ann Arbor: Population Studies Centre Research Report, University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research.Google Scholar
  10. England, P. (2006). Toward gender equality: Progress and bottlenecks. In F. D. Blau, M. C. Brinton, & D. B. Grusky (Eds.), The declining significance of gender? (pp. 245–264). New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  11. Forbes, G. B., Doroszewicz, K., Card, K., & Adams-Curtis, L. (2004). Association of the thin body ideal, ambivalent sexism, and self-esteem with body acceptance and the preferred body size of college women in Poland and the United States. Sex Roles, 50, 331–345. doi:10.1023/B:SERS.0000018889.14714.20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Frieze, I. H., Ferligoj, A., Kogovsek, T., Rener, T., Horvat, J., & Sarlija, N. (2003). Gender-role attitudes in university students in the United States, Slovenia, and Croatia. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 27, 256–261. doi:10.1111/1471-6402.00105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gibbons, L. J., Stiles, D. A., & Shokodriani, G. M. (1991). Adolescents” attitudes toward family and gender roles: An international comparison. Sex Roles, 25, 625–643. doi:10.1007/BF00289568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Glick, P. (2004). The other side of the coin: Ambivalence toward men and gender inequality. A comment on Viki (2004). Social Psychological Review, 6(2), 89–92.Google Scholar
  15. Glick, P., & Fiske, S. T. (1996). The ambivalent sexism inventory: Differentiating hostile and benevolent sexism. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 491–512. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.70.3.491.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Glick, P., & Fiske, S. T. (1999). The ambivalence toward men inventory: Differentiating hostile and benevolent beliefs about men. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 23, 519–536. doi:10.1111/j.1471-6402.1999.tb00379.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Glick, P., & Fiske, S. T. (2001a). An ambivalent alliance: Hostile and benevolent sexism as complementary justifications for gender inequality. American Psychologist, 56(2), 109–118. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.56.2.109.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Glick, P., & Fiske, S. T. (2001b). Ambivalent sexism. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology. Vol.33 (pp. 115–188). San Diego: Academic.Google Scholar
  19. Glick, P., Fiske, S. T., Mladinic, A., Saiz, J. L., Abrams, D., & Masser, B. (2000). Beyond prejudice as simple antipathy: Hostile and benevolent sexism across cultures. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 765–775. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.79.5.763.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Glick, P., Lameiras, M., & Castro, Y. R. (2002). Education and Catholic religiosity as predictors of hostile and benevolent sexism toward women and men. Sex Roles, 47, 433–441. doi:10.1023/A:1021696209949.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Glick, P., Fiske, S. T., Masser, B., Manganelli, A. M., Huang, L., Castro, Y. R., et al. (2004). Bad but bold: Ambivalent attitudes toward men predict gender inequality in 16 nations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86, 713–728. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.86.5.713.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Greenwald, A. G., & Banaji, M. R. (1995). Implicit social cognition: Attitudes, self-esteem, and stereotypes. Psychological Review, 102, 4–27. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.102.1.4.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hassim, S. (2002). “A conspiracy of women”: The women’s movement in South Africa’s transition to democracy. Social Research, 69, 693–732.Google Scholar
  24. Hassim, S. (2005). Nationalism displaced: Citizenship discourses in transition. In A. Gouws (Ed.), (Un)thinking citizenship: Feminist debates in contemporary South Africa (pp. 55–69). Cape Town: University of Cape Town Press.Google Scholar
  25. Inglehart, R., & Norris, P. (2003). Introduction: Explaining the rising tide of gender equality. In R. Inglehart & P. Norris (Eds.), Rising tide: Gender equality and cultural change around the world (pp. 1–28). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ksiniewicz, M. (2004). Specyfika polskiego feminizmu. [Specificity of Polish feminism]. Kultura i Historia, 6, 90–100.Google Scholar
  27. LaFont, S. (2001). One step forward, two steps back: Women in the post-communist states. Communist and Post-Communist Studies, 34, 203–220. doi:10.1016/S0967-067X(01)00006-X.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lane, K. A., Banaji, M. R., Nosek, B. A., & Gereenwald, A. G. (2007). Understanding and using the Implicit Association Test: IV. In B. Wittenbrink & N. Schwartz (Eds.), Implicit measures of attitudes (pp. 59–102). London: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  29. Levant, R. F., Richmond, K., Sellers, A., Mitina, O., Cuthbert, A., Mateveev, A., et al. (2003). Masculinity ideology among Russian and U.S. young men and women and its relationship to unhealthy lifestyle habits among young Russian men. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 4, 26–36. doi:10.1037/1524-9220.4.1.26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lewicka, M. (2005). Polacy są wielkim i dumnym narodem, czyli nasz portret (wielce) zróżnicowany. [Poles are a great and proud nation, i.e., a (very) diverse portrayal of ours]. In M. Drogosz (Ed.), Jak Polacy Przegrywają Jak Polacy Wygrywają? (pp. 5–35). Gdańsk: Gdańskie Wydawnictwo Psychologiczne.Google Scholar
  31. Luyt, R. (2005). The Male Attitude Norms Inventory-II: A measure of masculinity ideology in South Africa. Men & Masculinities, 8, 208–229. doi:10.1177/1097184X04264631.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Luyt, R. (2011). Representation of gender in South African Television Advertising: A content analysis. Sex Roles, 65, 356–370. doi:10.1007/s11199-011-0027-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mantell, J. E., Needham, S. L., Smit, J. A., Hoffman, S., Cebekhulu, Q., Adams-Skinner, J., et al. (2009). Gender norms in South Africa: Implications for HIV and pregnancy prevention among African and Indian women students at a South African tertiary institution. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 11, 139–157. doi:10.1080/13691050802521155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. McDaniel, A. E. (2008). Measuring gender egalitarianism: The attitudinal differences between men and women. International Journal of Sociology, 38(1), 58–80. doi:10.2753/IJS0020-7659380103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nelson, T. D. (2002). The psychology of prejudice. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  36. Office for National Statistics. (2011). Patterns of pay: Results of the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, 1997 to 2010. Retrieved from http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/index.html.
  37. Olson, J., Frieze, I., Wall, S., Zdaniuk, B., Ferligoj, A., Kogovšek, T., et al. (2007). Beliefs in equality for women and men as related to economic factors in Central and Eastern Europe and the United States. Sex Roles, 56, 297–308. doi:10.1007/s11199-006-9171-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pollert, A. (2003). Women, work and equal opportunities in post-communist transition. Work, Employment & Society, 17, 331–357. doi:10.1177/0950017003017002006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Robila, M., & Krishnakumar, A. (2004). The role of children in Eastern European families. Children & Society Volume, 18, 30–41. doi:10.1002/chi.773.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rosner, K. (1997). Czy istnieje w Polsce ruch feministyczny? [Does the feminist movement exist in Poland?]. Pelnym Glosem, 5, 13–27.Google Scholar
  41. Rudman, L. A., & Kilianski, S. E. (2000). Implicit and explicit attitudes towards female authority. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 26, 1315–1328. doi:10.1177/0146167200263001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Scott, J. (2006, September). Family and gender roles: How attitudes are changing (GeNet Working Paper No. 21). Cambridge, UK.Google Scholar
  43. Seguino, S. (2007). PlusÇa change? Evidence on global trends in gender norms and stereotypes. Feminist Economics, 13(2), 1–28. doi:10.1080/13545700601184880.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Shafiro, M. V., Himelein, M. J., & Best, D. L. (2003). Ukrainian and U.S. American females: Differences in individualism/collectivism and gender attitudes. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 34, 297–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Shefer, T., Crawford, M., Strebel, A., Simbayi, L. C., Dwadwa-Henda, N., Cloete, A., et al. (2008). Gender, power and resistance to change among two communities in the Western Cape, South Africa. Feminism & Psychology, 18, 157–182. doi:10.1177/0959353507088265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Sibley, C. G., & Wilson, M. S. (2004). Differentiating hostile and benevolent sexist attitudes toward positive and negative sexual female subtypes. Sex Roles, 51, 687–696. doi:10.1007/s11199-004-0718-x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Sibley, C. G., Overall, N. C., & Duckitt, J. (2007). When women become more hostilely sexist toward their gender: The system-justifying effect of benevolent sexism. Sex Roles, 57, 743–754. doi:10.1007/s11199-007-9306-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Swim, J. K., Aikin, K. J., Hall, W. S., & Hunter, B. A. (1995). Sexism and racism: Old-fashioned and modern prejudices. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 199–214. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.68.2.199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Swim, J. K., Mallet, R., Russo-Devosa, Y., & Stangor, C. (2005). Judgments of sexism: A comparison of the subtlety of sexism measures and sources of variability in judgments of sexism. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 29, 406–411. doi:10.1111/j.1471-6402.2005.00240.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Tougas, F., Brown, R., Beaton, A. M., & Joly, S. (1995). Neosexism: Plus ça change, plus c’est pareil. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 21, 842–849. doi:10.1177/0146167295218007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Tucker, L. R. (1951). A method for synthesis of factor analysis studies. Washington: Department of the Army.Google Scholar
  52. Twenge, J. M. (2001). Changes in women’s assertiveness in response to status and roles: A cross-temporal meta-analysis, 1931-1933. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 133–145. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.81.1.133.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. United Nations Development Programme (2009) HDR 2009. Overcoming Barriers: Human Mobility and Development. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  54. Van de Vijver, F. J. R., & Poortinga, Y. H. (1994). Methodological issues in cross-cultural studies on parental rearing behavior and psychopathology. In C. Perris, W. A. Arrindell, & M. Eisemann (Eds.), Parenting and psychopathology (pp. 173–197). Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  55. Viki, G., & Abrams, D. (2004). Hostile and benevolent sexism: Complementary system justifying ideologies. Social Psychological Review, 6(2), 76–88.Google Scholar
  56. Walter, N. (2010). Living dolls, the return of sexism. London: Virago Press.Google Scholar
  57. Waylen, G. (2004). What can the South African transition tell us about gender and democratization? Unpublished manuscript, Queens University Belfast.Google Scholar
  58. Williams, J. E., & Best, D. L. (1982). Measuring sex stereotypes: A thirty-nation study. Beverly Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
  59. Williams, J. E., & Best, D. L. (1990). Measuring sex stereotypes: A multination study. Beverly Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
  60. Williams, J. E., Satterwhite, R. C., & Best, D. L. (1999). Pancultural gender stereotypes revisited: The Five Factor Model. Sex Roles, 40, 513–525. doi:10.1023/A:1018831928829.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Yakushko, O. (2005). Ambivalent sexism and relationship patterns among women and men in Ukraine. Sex Roles, 52, 586–596. doi:10.1007/s11199-005-3727-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Zahidi, S., & Ibarra, H. (2010). The corporate gender gap report 2010. Paper presented at the World Economic Forum, Genf.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Magdalena Zawisza
    • 1
  • Russell Luyt
    • 1
  • Anna Maria Zawadzka
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychologythe University of WinchesterWinchesterUK
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GdańskGdańskPoland

Personalised recommendations