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Replication and extension of Gul and Kupfer (2019) : why do women perceive men with benevolently sexist attitudes towards women as undermining and patronizing?

Kugelmann, M.N. (2021) Replication and extension of Gul and Kupfer (2019) : why do women perceive men with benevolently sexist attitudes towards women as undermining and patronizing?

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Abstract:Benevolent sexism (BS) is an essential element of sexism, which causes a lot of psychological and societal harm, especially to women. However, not only negative characteristics are attributed to men with BS attitudes. Previous studies showed that women find BS men more attractive despite perceiving them as more undermining and patronizing. Gul and Kupfer (2019) introduced and confirmed a novel explanation for this: the benevolence as a mate-preference hypothesis. According to their results, heterosexual women find BS men more attractive because they perceive them to be more willing to invest (provide, protect, commit). This study aimed to replicate Gul and Kupfer’s (2019) findings with a primarily German sample and extend the results by examining why BS men are perceived as more undermining and patronizing. To investigate this gap in research, namely, why BS men are perceived as more undermining and patronizing, other attributes women make about BS men were explored. To research this, female participants who are attracted to men (N = 133) were randomly assigned to one of two conditions (presented with a scenario about either BS men or non-BS men). Participants rated these men in several categories and expressed their own feminist attitudes. Several one-way ANOVAs were conducted to investigate whether BS men and non-BS men are rated differently, and a moderation analysis was conducted to test whether feminist values of the participants influence how attractive they rate the men. Women in this study rated BS-men as more willing to provide, protect, commit, and more likely to behave in a patronizing and undermining manner than non-BS men. Contradicting to previous studies, they did not perceive BS men as more attractive than non-BS men. Women with moderate and high feminist attitudes found the non-BS men more attractive, while women with low feminist values found both men equally attractive. Other inferences the participants made about BS men are that they also hold more hostile sexist attitudes and less gender-egalitarian attitudes and show more jealous behaviour in relationship conflicts than non-BS men. These findings partially contradict previous research and suggest that women in this study had different priorities regarding what aspects are important for attractiveness. In addition, their feminist attitudes played an essential role in the perception of attractiveness as well. Altogether, this study brought new insights into the understanding of benevolent sexist attitudes. Keywords: benevolent sexism, hostile sexism, feminism, attraction, mate preferences
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:71 sociology, 77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/87481
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