3 years ago

Negotiating the hierarchy: Social dominance orientation among women is associated with the endorsement of benevolent sexism

Fiona Kate Barlow, Chris G. Sibley, Helena R. M. Radke, Matthew J. Hornsey
Objective We examine how women high in social dominance orientation reconcile supporting a social system that seemingly disadvantages them. We propose that women high in social dominance orientation are more likely to adopt a benevolently sexist worldview. Method This paper contains data from two survey studies. Study 1 used data from the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Survey (N = 10,485) which is a study of social attitudes, personality, and health outcomes among New Zealanders. Measures of Social Dominance Orientation, as well as Hostile and Benevolent Sexism were included in Study 1. Study 2 consisted of data from a smaller sample of American females (N = 269). In addition to the variables described above, we also measured the extent to which participants perceived the gender hierarchy to be legitimate and their perceived personal need for protection from men. Control variables included hostile sexism and demographic variables (participants’ age, race, and socioeconomic status). Results Results revealed that social dominance orientation was a stronger predictor of benevolent sexism among women compared to men. Serial mediation analysis was then conducted in Study 2. Study 2 confirmed the hypothesised mechanism: Higher social dominance orientation was associated with perceptions that women's low status is legitimate which, in turn, was associated with higher perceived personal need for protection from men. This was then associated with the endorsement of a benevolently sexist worldview. Conclusion Our findings suggest that social dominance orientation might help to explain why some women endorse benevolent sexism.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/ajpy.12176

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