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See detailInsidious dangers of benevolent sexism: Consequences for women's performance
Dardenne, Benoît ULg; Dumont, Muriel; Bollier, Thierry

in Journal of Personality & Social Psychology (2007), 93(5), 764-779

Four experiments found benevolent sexism to be worse than hostile sexism for women's cognitive performance. Experiments 1-2 showed effects of paternalist benevolent sexism and ruled out explanations of ... [more ▼]

Four experiments found benevolent sexism to be worse than hostile sexism for women's cognitive performance. Experiments 1-2 showed effects of paternalist benevolent sexism and ruled out explanations of perceived sexism, context pleasantness, and performance motivation. Experiment 3 showed effects of both paternalist and complementary gender differentiation components of benevolent sexism. Benevolent sexism per se (rather than the provision of unsolicited help involved in paternalism) worsened performance. Experiment 4 showed that impaired performance due to benevolent sexism was fully mediated by the mental intrusions women experienced about their sense of competence. Additionally, Experiment 4 showed that gender identification protected against hostile but not benevolent sexism. Despite the apparently positive and inoffensive tone of benevolent sexism, our research emphasizes its insidious dangers. [less ▲]

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