C12: Article on ambivalent alliance note

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Michael Inzlicht

An Ambivalent Alliance Hostile and Benevolent Sexism as Complementary Justifications for Gender Inequality Benevolent sexism (a subjectively favorable, chivalrous ideology that offers protection and affection to women who embrace conventional roles) Coexists with hostile sexism (antipathy toward women who are viewed as usurping men's power). Hostile and benevolent sexism are complementary, crossculturally prevalent ideologies o both of which predict gender inequality. Women, as compared with men, consistently reject hostile sexism but often endorse benevolent sexism o By rewarding women for conforming to a patriarchal status quo, benevolent sexism inhibits gender equality. Feminists who analyze contemporary society argue that similarly extreme characterizations of women are alive and well in popular culture, such as film depictions that divide women into faithful wives and murderous seductresses. o Although what Tavris and Wade (1984) termed the pedestal-gutter syndrome (or the Madonna-whore dichotomy) Hostile sexism is an adversarial view of gender relations in which women are perceived as seeking to control men, whether through sexuality or feminist ideology. Benevolent sexism may sound oxymoronic, this term recognizes that some forms of sexism are, for the perpetrator, subjectively benevolent, characterizing women as pure creatures who ought to be protected, supported, and adored and whose love is necessary to make a man complete. o This idealization of women simultaneously implies that they are weak and best suited for conventional gender roles; being put on a pedestal is confining, yet the man who places a woman there is likely to interpret this as cherishing, rather than restricting, her (and many women may agree). o Research suggests that it serves as a crucial complement to hostile sexism that helps to pacify women's resistance to societal gender inequality. The Ambivalent Sexism Inventory o first validated in U.S. samples o administered to over 15,000 men and women in 19 nations o 22-item self-report measure of sexist attitudes with separate 11-item Hostile and Benevolent Sexism scales Conclusion: Hostile and benevolent sexism are prevalent across cultures Crosscultural differences in ambivalent sexism are predictable and systematic, with both ideologies relating to national measures of gender inequality. ASI research reveals about the nature of sexism challenges current definitions of prejudice as an unalloyed antipathy and draws attemion to the manner in which subjectively benevolent, paternalistic prejudices (e.g., benevolent sexism) may reinforce inequality between groups. The Nature of Sexism Allport (1954), in his foundational book entitled The Nature of Prejudice, defined prejudice as "an antipathy based upon a faulty and inflexible generalization" (p. 9) virtually all psychological theorists have likewise equated prejudice with antipathy On the basis of cross-cultural indicators of status and power, women are clearly a disadvantaged group. Hunter-gatherer societies (common to an earlier era of human history), in which wealth could not be accumulated o may have been relatively egalitarian, o bul the idea that matriarchy was once common has been thoroughly debunked The standard model of prejudice would suggest, then, that attitudes toward women must be overwhelmingly hostile and contemptuous. o Recent research, however, shows that overall attitudes toward women are quite favorable. o Men and women have more favorable attitudes toward women than toward men, attributing an extremely positive set of traits to women. Known as the "women are wonderful" effect theorists: How can a group be almost universally disadvantaged yet loved? o the favorable, communal traits ascribed to women (e.g., nurturing, helpful, and warm) suit them for domestic roles, whereas men are presumed to possess the traits associated with competence at high-status roles o women's stereo typically communal attributes are also the traits of deference that, when enacted in daily interaction, place a person in a subordinate, less powerful position o Thus, the favorable traits attributed to women may reinforce women's lower status. The dualityo Dominant groups prefer to act warmly toward subordinates, offering them patronizing affection as a reward for "knowing their place" rather than rebelling. o Open antagonism is reserved for subordinates who fail to defer or who question existing social inequalities. But can subjectively benevolent attitudes be a form of prejudice? By Allport's (1954) definition of prejudice as an antipathy, the answer is no. Yet, Allport immediately followed his definition by stating that "the net effect of prejudice . . . is to place the object of prejudice at some disadvantage" afterthought suggests that the crux of prejudice may not be antipathy but social inequality If so, a patronizing bul subjectively positive orientation toward women that reinforces gender inequality is a form of prejudice. Why Benevolent Prejudices Matter Benevolent sexism is a subtle form of prejudice hostile and benevolent sexism are presumed to be "legitimizing ideologies," o beliefs that help to justify and maintain inequality between groups "White man's burden" o The widespread belief that Europeans were redeeming the primitive masses was essential to maintaini
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