Nonverbal and Verbal Expressions of Men’s Sexism in Mixed-Gender Interactions
- 4.4k Downloads
This study examined the nonverbal and verbal expressions of hostile and benevolent sexism. Hostile sexism is sexist antipathy and benevolent sexism is a chivalrous belief that women are warm yet incompetent. We predicted that hostile sexist men would display less affiliative expressions but benevolent sexist men would display more affiliative expressions during mixed-gender interactions. Twenty-seven pairs of U.S. male and female undergraduates from a private university in New England participated in this study. These mixed-gender dyads participated in two social interactions: a structured trivia game followed by an unstructured conversation period. During the trivia game, men with more benevolent sexism were perceived to be more patient overall when waiting for the woman to answer the trivia questions. Furthermore, we examined the men’s nonverbal and verbal expressions during the unstructured interaction—naïve raters made impression ratings of the men’s nonverbal and verbal behavior, and trained coders counted the frequency of specific nonverbal cues (e.g., smiles). A word count software was used for verbal content analysis. As predicted, more hostile sexism was associated with less affiliative nonverbal and verbal expressions (e.g., less approachable, less friendly, and less smiling), but more benevolent sexism was associated with more affiliative nonverbal and verbal expressions (e.g., more approachable, more likely to smile, and more positive word usage). The effects held after controlling for men’s personality traits and partners’ nonverbal behavior. Differential behavioral expressions of benevolent and hostile sexism have theoretical importance as we can examine how sexism maintains the status quo at the interpersonal level.
KeywordsBenevolent sexism Hostile sexism Nonverbal Verbal Social interactions
- Abel, M. H. (Ed.). (2002). An empirical reflection on the smile. New York: Edwin Mellen Press.Google Scholar
- Allport, G. W. (1979). The nature of prejudice (25th ed.). Cambridge: Perseus Books.Google Scholar
- Catalyst (2012). 2012 Catalyst census: Fortune 500 women executive officers and top earners. Retrieved from http://www.catalyst.org.
- Dovidio, J. F., & LaFrance, M. (2013). Race, ethnicity, and nonverbal behavior. In J. A. Hall & M. L. Knapp (Eds.), Nonverbal communication (pp. 671–695). Berlin: deGruyter Mouton.Google Scholar
- Eagly, A. H., & Diekman, A. B. (2005). What is the problem? Prejudice as an attitude-in-context. In J. F. Dovidio, P. Glick, & L. A. Rudman (Eds.), On the nature of prejudice: Fifty years after Allport (pp. 19–35). Malden: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Gifford, R. (2013). Personality is encoded in, and decoded from, nonverbal behavior. In J. A. Hall & M. L. Knapp (Eds.), Nonverbal communication (pp. 369–402). Berlin: deGruyter Mouton.Google Scholar
- Jennings, K. (2008). Ken Jennings’s trivia almanac: 8,888 questions in 365 days. New York: Villard Books.Google Scholar
- Murphy, J. D., Driscoll, D. M., & Kelly, J. R. (1999). Differences in the nonverbal behavior of men who vary in the likelihood to sexually harass. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 14, 113–128.Google Scholar
- National Science Foundation (2008). Thirty-three years of women in S&E faculty positions. Retrieved from http://www.nsf.gov.
- Pennebaker, J. W., Booth, R. J., & Francis, M. E. (2007). Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count: LIWC 2007 [Computer software]. Austin: LIWC.net.Google Scholar
- Quotaproject (2013). Global database of quotas for women. Retrieved from http://quotaproject.org/.
- Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the adolescent self-image. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Rudman, L. A., & Glick, P. (2008). The social psychology of gender: How power and intimacy shape gender relations. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Trawalter, S., Adam, E. K., Chase-Lansdale, P. L., & Richeson, J. A. (2012). Concerns about appearing prejudiced get under the skin: Stress responses to interracial contact in the moment and across time. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 682–693. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2011.12.003.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Vescio, T. K., Gervais, S., Snyder, M., & Hoover, A. (2005). Power and the creation of patronizing environments: The stereotype-based behaviors of the powerful and their effects on female performance in masculine domains. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 658–672. doi:10.1037/0022-35188.8.131.528.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar