Sex Roles

, Volume 66, Issue 7–8, pp 468–478 | Cite as

Intergenerational Transmission of Benevolent Sexism from Mothers to Daughters and its Relation to Daughters’ Academic Performance and Goals

  • Pilar Montañés
  • Soledad de Lemus
  • Gerd Bohner
  • Jesús L. Megías
  • Miguel Moya
  • Rocio Garcia-Retamero
Original Article


A questionnaire study addressed the intergenerational transmission of benevolent sexist beliefs (BS) from mothers to adolescent daughters and influences of BS on daughters’ traditional goals, academic goals (i.e., getting an academic degree), and academic performance. In addition, the role of mothers’ educational level and job status as predictors of their BS was explored. One hundred sixty-four pairs of female adolescents and their mothers from Granada (Spain) completed questionnaires independently. Hypotheses were tested in a path model. Results suggest that mothers’ BS is negatively predicted by their education but not their job status. Mothers’ BS predicted daughters’ BS, which in turn negatively predicted daughters’goal to get an academic degree and positively predicted daughters’ traditional goals. Daughters’ academic performance was positively predicted by their goal to get an academic degree and negatively predicted by mothers’ BS. Results are discussed in terms of the socializing influence of mothers’ sexist ideology on their daughters and its implications for the maintenance of traditional roles that perpetuate gender inequalities.


Benevolent sexism Goals Intergenerational transmission Academic performance Adolescence 



This research was supported by Grants No. PSI2010-15139 from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación) and No. SEJ2010-6225 from the Andalusian Regional Government (Junta de Andalucía).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pilar Montañés
    • 1
    • 4
  • Soledad de Lemus
    • 2
  • Gerd Bohner
    • 3
  • Jesús L. Megías
    • 2
  • Miguel Moya
    • 2
  • Rocio Garcia-Retamero
    • 2
  1. 1.University of La RiojaLogroñoSpain
  2. 2.University of GranadaGranadaSpain
  3. 3.University of BielefeldBielefeldGermany
  4. 4.Departamento de Ciencias de la EducaciónLogroñoSpain

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