Sex Roles

, Volume 39, Issue 5–6, pp 333–352 | Cite as

Wanting It Both Ways: Do Women Approve of Benevolent Sexism?

  • Stephen E. Kilianski
  • Laurie A. Rudman


An oft-expressed criticism of feminism is thatwomen “want it both ways,” opposing whatGlick and Fiske (1996) have called “hostilesexism,” but accepting or approving of“benevolent sexism.” To examine this issue, anethnically and socioeconomically diverse group of onehundred female undergraduate volunteers rated profilesof a hostile sexist, a benevolent sexist and anon-sexist. For the benevolent sexist, ratings were mildlyfavorable, while for the hostile sexist, ratings werehighly unfavorable. Forty-four participants (a categoryreferred to as equivocal egalitarians) approved of the benevolent sexist while disapproving ofthe hostile sexist. Equivocal egalitarianism waspositively related to participants' Attitudes AboutReality (Unger, Draper, & Pendergrass, 1986) andnegatively related to their belief that hostile andbenevolent sexism could coexist. Overall, participantsconsidered it unlikelythat the hostile and benevolentsexist profiles described the same person. Givenprevious findings, these data suggest that women mayunderestimate the coexistence of hostile and benevolentsexism in men (Glick & Fiske, 1996).


Social Psychology Diverse Group Benevolent Sexism Undergraduate Volunteer 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen E. Kilianski
  • Laurie A. Rudman

There are no affiliations available

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