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1 AN INVESTIGATION OF THE POSITIVE RELATIONS BETWEEN BENEVOLENT SEXISM, SYSTEM JUSTIFICATION, AND LIFE SATISFACTION By KATHLEEN CONNELLY A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2012
2 2012 Kathleen Connelly
3 To my wonderful parents and my amazing sister for always suppor ting my dreams
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank my family, friends, and mentors for their support. In particular, I would like to thank Dr. Connie Shehan and Dr. Bonnie Mo radi for their excellent help while serving on my committee. I greatly appreciate their insightful comments. Finally, I would like to thank Esther Tebbe for her hel p with statistical analys is.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 6 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 7 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 8 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 9 Benevo lent and Hostile Sexism ................................ ................................ .............. 11 System Justification Theory ................................ ................................ .................... 13 The System Justifying Effect of Benevolent Sexism ................................ ............... 14 The Present Study ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 18 2 METHOD ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 21 Participants ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 21 Measures ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 21 Benevolent and Hostile Sexism ................................ ................................ ........ 21 Diffuse System Justification ................................ ................................ .............. 22 Life Satisfaction ................................ ................................ ................................ 23 Procedure ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 24 3 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 25 Structural Equatio n Modeling ................................ ................................ .................. 25 Measurement Model ................................ ................................ ......................... 26 Structural (Hypothesized) Model ................................ ................................ ...... 27 Indirect effects ................................ ................................ ............................ 27 Partially mediated model ................................ ................................ ............ 28 Comparisons of mod el for women and men ................................ .............. 28 4 DISCUSSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 36 Benevolent Sexism ................................ ................................ ................................ 37 Hostile Se xism ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 41 Limitations and Future Research ................................ ................................ ............ 42 REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 45 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ............................ 51
6 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 Means, standard deviations, and independent t tests for study variables. ......... 31 3 2 Bivariate correlations among study variables. ................................ .................... 32
7 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 3 1 Structural model depicting the associations found among study variables for total sample. ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 33 3 2 Structural model depicting the associations found among study variables for women.. ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 34 3 3 Structural model depicting the assoc iations found among study variables for men.. ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 35
8 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requi rements for the Degree of Master of Science AN INVESTIGATION OF THE POSITIVE RELATIONS BETWEEN BENEVOLENT SEXISM, SYSTEM JUSTIFICATION, AND LIFE SATISFACTION By Kathleen Connelly May 2012 Chair: Martin Heesacker Major: Ps ychology Previous research suggests that benevolent sexism is a legitimizing ideology that helps rationalize inequality between men and women (Jost & Kay, 2005). The current study expands on this research by testing whether benevolently sexist beliefs ar e related to increased system justifying beliefs and life satisfaction for both men and women, as predicted by system justification theory (Jost & Banaji, 1994). A structural equation model revealed that benevolent sexism is indirectly associated with hi gher life satisfaction for both men and women through increased system justifying beliefs. In contrast, the results suggest that hostile sexism is unrelated to system justifying beliefs for men and negatively related to system justifying beliefs for women The findings justifying ideology.
9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION In 2010, Blayne Bennett, president of the Network of Enlightened Women (NeW) at Arizona State University, appeared on Good Morning! Arizona. Bennett promoted When the host asked Bennet what might be contributing to a lack of chivalry, al feminist movement has really kind of put us in a Catch women are told we need to be really independent and self asked the campus, we got a differen (Beardley, 2010). Good Morning! Arizona in 2010, NeW a club for conservative women with 24 chapters in college campuses across the nation, has we want to honor those that stand against cultural norms and demonstrate gentlemanly Good Morning! Arizona emphasize the existence of benevolent sexism on university
10 interrelated attitudes toward women that are sexist in terms of viewing woman stereotypically and in restricted roles but that are subjecti 1996, p. 491). Although benevolent sexism might seem harmless and even desirable to women, it has been associated with a range of negative consequences for women, including poorer task performance (Dardenne, Dumont, & Bollie r, 2007; Dumont, Sarlet, & Dardenne, 2010; Vescio, Gervais, Snyder, & Hoover, 2005) and increased feelings of incompetence and self doubt (Dardenne et al., 2007; Dumont et al., 2010). Benevolently sexist beliefs are also associated with attitudes that ex cuse sexual harassment, domestic violence, and rape (Abrams, Viki, Masser, & Bohner, 2003; Fiske & Glick, 1995; Glick, Sakalli Ugurlu, Ferreira, & Souza, 2002; Pryor, Geidd, & Williams, 1995; Viki & Abrams, 2002). However, few studies have investigated why women and men might be motivated to hold benevolently sexist attitudes. System justification theory (Jost & Banaji, 1994; Jost & Hunyady, 2005) offers a potential explanation for why women and men alike might endorse benevolent sexism. According to syst em justification theory, possessing ideologies that legitimize the current social system promotes life satisfaction by Research suggests that benevolent sexism is, indee d, a victim enhancing ideology that rationalizes the status quo by suggesting that men and women have separate but equal roles (Jost & Kay, 2005). However, no study to date has examined whether possessing benevolent sexism is related to the perception tha t society is fair and, in turn, life satisfaction. Therefore, the purpose of the present study is to investigate if system
11 justification theory might offer a potential explanation for why women and men might hold benevolently sexist beliefs. Benevolent an d Hostile Sexism According to ambivalent sexism theory (Glick & Fiske, 1996, 2001), attitudes toward women have both hostile and benevolent components. Hostile sexism is a ntagonistic and adversarial ideology that derogates women for trying to steal power from men through sexuality or feminism, for unnecessarily complaining about sexism, and for failing to appreciate men (Glick & Fiske, 1996, 2001). In contrast, benevolent s exism is a seemingly flattering ideology that idealizes women in traditionally feminine roles (Glick & Fiske, 1996). Benevolent sexism celebrates complementary, traditional gender roles involving a delicate, kind female nurturer and a strong, competent ma le protector (Glick & Whitehead, 2010). warm, caring and nurturing (but weak and incompetent), whereas men are intelligent, strong, and independent (but cold and uncaring). This complementary portrayal of gender roles suggests that men and women both depend on each other. By suggesting that women are kind and delicate, benevolent sexism implies t hat women need stronger, more competent men to survive. But benevolent sexism also suggests that ch on the complementary nature of traditional gender attitudes (e.g. Eagly & Mladinic, 1993; Prentice & Carranza, 2002; Williams & Best, 1990).
12 Research suggests that both men and women consider benevolent sexism to be less offensive than hostile sexism For instance, Barreto and Ellemers (2005), Bohner, Ahlborn, and Steiner (2010), and Kilianski and Rudman (1998) found that benevolent sexists are perceived as less sexist and more likeable. Similarly, Swim, Mallett, Russo Devosa, and Stangor (2005) fou nd that both women and men considered benevolently sexist statements to be less sexist than hostilely sexist statements. However, benevolent sexism is far from innocuous. Although the communal traits associated with women might seem flattering, research suggests that benevolent women to benevolent sexism has been associated with poorer task performance (Adams, Garcia, Purdie Vaughns, & Steele, 2006; Dardenne et al., 2007; Du mont et al., 2010; Vescio et al., 2005), increased feelings of incompetence and self doubt (Dardenne et al., 2007; Dumont et al., 2010), more submissive behavior (Moya et al., 2007), increased self objectification (Calogero & Jost, 2011; Shepherd, Erchull Rosner, Taubenberger, Forsyth Queen, & McKee, 2010), and decreased motivation to engage in collective action to reduce gender discrimination (Becker & Wright, 2011). Additionally, benevolently sexist beliefs are related to attitudes that excuse sexual h arassment (Fiske & Glick, 1995; Pryor et al., 1995), beliefs that justify domestic violence (Glick et al., 2002; Sakalli, 2002), and negative reactions to victims of rape (Abrams et al., 2003; Viki & Abrams, 2002) among both men and women. Thus, past rese arch suggests that although benevolent sexism may be experienced as flattering, it is indeed pernicious.
13 System Justification Theory Benevolent sexism might be particularly pernicious because it helps justify and legitimize existing social inequality. Sys tem justification theory proposes that individuals are motivated to adopt ideologies that defend the current social system as fair, just, and legitimate (Jost & Banaji, 1994; Jost, Banaji, & Nosek, 2004; Jost & Hunyady, 2005). According to this theory, vi ewing society and its intuitions as legitimate promotes a sense of order, structure, and security (Jost, Pelham, Sheldon, & Sullivan, 2003). Consistent with this theory, research suggests that defending the status quo has hedonic benefits: System justifyi ng beliefs are related to increased life satisfaction, increased positive affect, and decreased negative affect for both advantaged and disadvantaged groups (Jost & Hunyady, 2002; Jost et al., 2003; Major, 1994; Napier & Rankin, Jost, & Wakslak, 2009; Wakslak, Jost, Tyler, & Chen, 2007). The extant literature suggests that people may be motivated to justify an unfair society and its institutions because doing so serves a palliative function, or, in other words, increase l ife satisfaction (Napier et al., 2010). Research has generally focused on the system justifying effect of victim derogating ideologies, or belief systems that emphasize how members of low status groups are responsible for their disadvantaged social positi on (Kay et al., 2005). For instance, belief in a just world is a victim derogating ideology that promotes the sense that society is fair by suggesting that the privileged deserve their higher status because of their hard work or greater skill. In turn, i t suggests that the underprivileged deserve their lower status because of their lack of work ethic, laziness, or stupidity (Lerner, 1980).
14 However, research suggests that victim enhancing ideologies involving complementary beliefs about members of advant aged or disadvantaged groups are also effective in promoting system justification (Jost & Kay, 2005; Kay & Jost, 2003; Kay, Jost, & Young, 2005). Victim enhancing ideologies suggest that because the advantaged and disadvantaged groups possess balanced pos itive and negative traits, The stereotype that the poor are happy whereas the rich are miserable is one example of a complementary belief that promotes a sense of social fairness; Kay and Jost (2003) found that experimentally exposing participants to this stereotype led to increased system justification. The System Justifying Effect of Benevolent Sexism Glick and Fiske (2001) argue that benevolent sexism helps legitimize gender inequality by justifying gender roles and flattering women into tolerating an unfair system. By emphasiz suggests that men are naturally suited for high status leadership roles whereas women are suited for low status domestic roles. In addition, Glick and Fiske (2001) underscore that by flattering wo (2001) argument that benevolent sexism should justify and rationalize specific relations between men and women, previous research has focused on how benevolent sexism relates to gender specific system justification, or the belief that relations between men and women are fair (Jost & Kay, 2005). For
15 instance, Jost and Kay (2005) found that exposing women to benevolent sexism increased gender specific system justification. Exposure to hostile sexism did not increase gender specific system justification, sug gesting that hostile sexism does not promote gender specific system justification. The authors did not find this effect for men, who reported high levels of gender specific system justification across conditions. In addition, Glick and Whitehead (2010) f ound that among both men and women, benevolent sexism is correlated with the belief that gender relations are fair. Similarly, Hammond and Sibley (2011) found that gender specific system justification fully mediated the relation between benevolent sexism and life satisfaction for women and partially mediated the association between benevolent sexism and life satisfaction for men. Finally, Becker and Wright (2011) found that exposure to benevolent sexism was positively related to gender specific system ju stification, which mediated a link between exposure to benevolent sexism and decreased desire to promote social change. rationalize specific aspects of intergroup relations in this case, interactions between men and women. But benevolent sexism might not only help legitimize and rationalize relations between men and women. Because benevolent sexism emphasizes the en and women, system justification theory suggests that this ideology might contribute to the view that the perspective, the belief that every group in society poss esses some advantages and some disadvantages should increase the sense that the system as a whole is fair,
16 poor make society seem fair (Kay & Jost, 2003), complementary stereotypes about men and women should contribute to the sense that the overall social structure is legitimate. Thus, system justification theory predicts that benevolently sexist beliefs should not only hem into cooperation. Such beliefs should also serve a broader system justifying purpose and make society as a whole appear fair (Jost & Kay, 2005). By underscoring the complementary roles of both genders, benevolent sexism should, in turn, promote life satisfaction for both members of the high status group (men) as well as members of the low status group (women; Jost & Hunyady, 2005). Supporting this idea, Jost and Kay (2005) found that exposing female participants to benevolently sexist statements, ra ther than hostilely sexist or neutral statements, diffuse system justification as men reported high levels of diffuse system justification across conditions. Similarly Napier et al. (2010) found that statements from the World Values Survey that appeared similar to items measuring benevolent sexism from Glick satisfaction for both men and wom en in relatively gender egalitarian countries. In contrast, they found that statements similar to hostile sexism were negatively related to life satisfaction for men and unrelated to life satisfaction for women. These results suggest that benevolently sex ist beliefs might have the palliative effect associated with system justifying ideologies.
17 Glick and Fiske (2001) argue that hostile sexism helps rationalize gender who do not conform to the feminine norms extolled in benevolent sexism. Consistent with the argument that hostile sexism might contribute to gender specific system justification, Glick and Whitehead (2010) found that, among both men and women, hostile sexism was positively correlated with the belief that the gender system is fair. However, other research has not found consistent evidence that hostile sexism is related to gender specific or diffuse system justification. As mentioned, Jost and Kay (2005) found that exposure to hostile sexism had no effect on gender specific or diffuse system justification for women or men. Indeed, Napier et al. (2010) found that hostile sexism is negatively related to life satisfaction for men and unrelated to life satisfactio n for women, suggesting that it does not have the palliative effect associated with system justifying ideologies. Similarly, Becker and Wright (2011) found that exposure to hostile sexism led to decreased gender system justification among women, which med iated the link between exposure to hostile sexism and increased desire for social change. Thus, future research is needed to determine if hostilely sexist attitudes are indeed negatively related to system justification. According to system justification theory, hostile sexism would not be an effective system justifying ideology. Unlike benevolent sexism or other victim enhancing ideologies, hostile sexism does not emphasize the complementary characteristics of low status and high status group members. In addition, unlike effective system justifying victim derogating ideologies like belief in a just world, hostile sexism does not offer a causal reason for why women deserve their lower social status. Given the
18 importance of the discourse of gender equality in America, it is possible that hostile sexism is simply too antagonistic toward women to consistently serve a system justifying function (Napier et al., 2010). Therefore, although hostile sexism might help rationalize some aspects of inequality between men and women by delegitimizing gender system (Glick & Fiske, 2001; Glick & Whitehead, 2010), system justification theory would not predic t that it would function as a broader system justifying ideology. The Present Study Although research has begun to explore how benevolent sexism rationalizes possessing benevolently sexist attitudes should be positively associated with the sense that society as a whole is fair for both women and men. Similarly, no study has tested re lated to life satisfaction for both genders because it contributes to the sense that the overall social system seem just. Therefore, the primary purpose of present study is to use structural equation modeling (SEM) to explore the extent to which benevole nt gender attitudes are associated with life satisfaction for both women and men through increased diffuse system justifying beliefs. Consistent with system justification theory and previous research (Jost & Kay, 2005; Napier et al., 2010), I predict that for both women and men, benevolent sexism will be related to increased diffuse system justifying beliefs (Hypothesis 1a). I also predict that diffuse system justifying beliefs will be positively related to life satisfaction (Hypothesis 1b). In turn, I pr edict that benevolent sexism will have a positive indirect link to life satisfaction through diffuse system justifying beliefs
19 for both genders. In other words, I predict that diffuse system justifying beliefs will fully mediate the relation between benev olent sexism and life satisfaction for both women and men (Hypothesis 1c). An important contribution of the present study would be offering a more parsimonious model explaining the association between benevolent sexism, system justification, and life sat isfaction. As previously mentioned, Hammond and Sibley (2011) tested a model explaining the relation between benevolent sexism and life satisfaction with gender supported a differential process model: G ender specific system justification fully mediated the relation between benevolent sexism and life satisfaction for women but only partially mediated the association between benevolent sexism and life satisfaction for men. However, system justification th eory suggests that the process through which benevolent sexism promotes life satisfaction should be the same for both genders. By increasing the sense that society as a whole is fair, benevolently sexist beliefs should have a palliative effect for both me n and women. Therefore, the present study tests a more comprehensive and parsimonious explanation for the relation between benevolent sexism and life satisfaction. The secondary purpose of the present study is to clarify how hostile sexism relates to dif fuse system justification and life satisfaction. Previous research generally suggests that hostile sexism is not positively related to system justification or life satisfaction (Hammond & Sibley, 2011; Jost & Kay, 2005; Napier et al., 2010), although one study found that hostile sexism is positively related to perceptions that the gender system is fair (Glick & Whitehead, 2010). In addition, research is mixed concerning whether hostile sexism is negative or non significantly related to system justificat ion and
20 that hostile sexism should not promote the sense that society as a whole is fair because it does not have the characteristics of an effective victim enhanc ing or victim derogating ideology (Kay et al., 2005). Therefore, I predict that hostile sexism will not be positively related to diffuse system justification (Hypothesis 2a) or life satisfaction (Hypothesis 2b) for women or men. Finally, I predict a posi tive association between benevolent and hostile sexism, as found in previous research (Glick & Fiske, 1996; Glick et al., 2000; Hypothesis 3).
21 CHAPTER 2 METHOD Participants The participants were 379 undergraduates (271 women, 108 men) from a large to 80 years old ( M = 19.89, Mdn = 19.0, SD = 3.73). Within the sample, 64% identified as White, 7% as Black, 14% as Hispanic or Latino/a, 8% as Asian or Asian American, 1% as American Indian, 1% as Pacific Islander, 4% as multiracial, and 2% as other. Eighty five percent identified as exclusive ly heterosexual, 9% as mostly heterosexual, 2% as bisexual, 1% as mostly gay/lesbian, 3% as exclusively gay/lesbian, and 1% as other. Forty six percent of the participants were first year college students, 22% were second year students, 19% were third yea r students, 11% were fourth year students, 2% were fifth year students, and 1% identified as other. Three percent identified as upper class, 33% identified as upper middle class, 42% identified as middle class, 17% identified as working class, 5% identifi ed as lower class, and 1% identified as other. Demographic percentages may not sum to 100% due to rounding. Measures Benevolent and Hostile Sexism Benevolent and hostile sexism were assessed with the 22 item Ambivalent Sexism Inventory (Glick & Fiske, 1996). Eleven items assessed benevolent sexism and much they agreed with each item on a six point scale ranging from 0 ( disagree strongly )
22 to 6 ( agree strongly ). A mean benevolent sexism score and a mean hostile sexism score were calculated from the 11 items assessing each construct, with higher scores reflecting higher levels of benevolent or hostile sexism. Glick and Fiske (1996) found that benevolent sexism and hostile sexism demonstrated good reliability and validity. They found that the scale for bene volent sexism was reliable, with alphas ranging from .75 to .85 across four student samples. Supporting its validity, the authors found that benevolent sexism was not significantly related to other measures of blatant sexism, such as the Attitudes Toward Women Scale (Spence & Helmreich, 1972) or the Old Fashioned Sexism Scale (Swim, Aiken, Hall, & Hunter, 1995), after controlling for hostile sexism. Additionally, Glick, Diebold, Bailey Werner, & Zhu (1997) found that benevolent sexism was related to posit ive attitudes toward traditional women (i.e., homemakers) among men. In the present For hostile sexism, Glick and Fiske (1996) found that the scale was reliable, with alphas ranging from .80 to .92 across four student samples. In terms of the validity of hostile sexism, the authors found that hostile sexism is moderately correlated with other measures of blatant sexism, including the Attitudes Toward Women Scale (Spence & Helmreich, 1972), the Old F ashioned Sexism Scale (Swim et al., 1995). Glick et al. (1997) also found that among both men and women, hostile sexism is related to negative attitudes toward nontraditional women (i.e., career women). In the present exism was .90 Diffuse System Justification Participants completed an eight item measure of diffuse system justification assessing perceptions that society as a whole is fair and just (Jost & Kay, 2005; Kay &
23 indicated how much they agreed with each item on a nine point scale ranging from 1 ( disagree strongly ) to 9 ( agree strongly ). A mean system justification score was higher scores reflecting greater diffuse system justification. Kay and Jost (2003) found that this measure of diffuse system justification demonstrated adequate reliability, with an alpha of .87 in a sample of students. Supporting the validity of the scal e, Kay and Jost (2003) found that diffuse system justification was positively associated with the Global Belief in a Just World Scale (Lipkus, 1991), the Protestant Work Ethic Scale (Quinn and Crocker, 1999), and a general a need for social balance and com plementarity in a student sample. Life Satisfaction Life satisfaction was assessed with the five item Satisfaction with Life Scale ted how much they agreed with each item on a seven point scale ranging from 1 ( strongly disagree ) to 7 ( strongly agree ). A mean scores reflecting grater life satisfac tion. Diener et al. (1985) demonstrated adequate reliability, with an alpha of .87 in a sample of students. In terms of validity, the authors found that the Satisfaction with Life Scale was positively correlated with happiness and positive affect and nega tively correlated with negative affect in a sample of students. In addition, Lucas, Diener, and Suh (1996) found that the scale is positively related to other measures of well being, including self esteem and optimism among students. In the present study the alpha was .87.
24 Procedure Undergraduate students in introductory and advanced psychology courses at a large southeastern public university were invited to participate in an online study on happiness and attitudes. Participants from introductory psych ology courses were invited to take part in the study through Sona Systems and participated for course credit, while participants from advanced psychology courses were invited via email to participate in the study or to complete a short alternative activity for extra credit. All participants completed the survey online. After providing consent, participants completed the measures of interest in random order to prevent any order effects from occurring. Participants answered the demographic questions at the end of the survey.
25 CHAPTER 3 RESULTS presented separately for men and women in Table 3 1. Independent t tests revealed that men ( M = 3.57, SD = 0.86) scored higher than women ( M = 3.01, SD = 0.89) on hostile sexism, t (377) = 5.54, p < .01. This is consistent with previous research suggesting that men reliably score higher than women on hostile sexism (Glick & Fiske, 1996; Glick et al., 1997; Glick et al., 2000; Glick et al., 2002). Men and women did not significantly differ on any other study variable. Table 3 2 presents the bivariate correlations among the study variables. Structural Equation Modeling Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to test the predicted relations between benevolent sexism, hostile sexism, system justifying beliefs, and life satisfaction. The analyses were conducted with AMOS 6.0 using maximum likelihood estimation. Cases with missing data were deleted, resulting in the deletion of 6 cases. As recommended by Weston and Gore (2006), three indicators were used to assess each latent variable. Because benevolent sexism, hostile sexism, system justification, and life satisfact ion were assessed with a single scale, three random parcels were created from the items of each scale to serve as the observed indicators for each of the latent variables in the model. As Russo and Chen (2010) note, this is consistent with Little, Cunning using parcels as observed indicators is appropriate if the parcels are unidimensional and reliable and if the focus of the research is on the constructs rather than the indicators measuring the constructs.
26 the data. Excellent model fit requires a comparative fit index (CFI) of .95 or higher, a standardized root mean square residual (SRMR) value of .08 or lower, and a root mean squ are error of approximation (RMSEA) value of .06 or lower (Hu & Bentler, 1999). CFI values between .90 .94, SRMR values between .09 .10, and RMSEA values between .07 .10 indicate an acceptable fit. Values outside of these ranges indicate an unacceptable f it. Because all of the skewness coefficients were less than three and all of the .00 and suggesting that the assumption of multivariate normality was not met. Four p < .001. However, because including them did not change the model fit and because SEM is robust to violations of mu ltivariate normality (Kline, 2005), they were included in the sample. The sample size every estimated parameter. Measurement Model Weston and Gore (2006) recommend conducting an SEM analysis in two steps by first testing the measurement model and then testing the structural (or hypothesized) model. Therefore, the measurement model, which involves conducting a confirmatory factor anal ysis to determine if the latent variables are properly measured by their observed indicators (Weston & Gore, 2006), was tested first. The results indicate that
27 the measurement model for the entire sample adequately fit the data, 2 (48, N = 379) = 64.71, p = .05 CFI = 0.993, SRMR = 0.029, and RMSEA = 0.030 (90% CI: .000 .048). Structural (Hypothesized) Model The structural model with standardized regression weights and the unstandardized covariance between benevolent and hostile sexism is depicted in Figure 3 1. The results indicate that the structural model for the entire sample adequately fit the data, 2 (50, N = 379) = 64.73, p = .08, CFI = 0.994, SRMR = 0.029, and RMSEA = 0.028 (90% CI: .000 .046). Benevolent sexism was positively related to sys tem justifying beliefs, = .25, z = 2.69, p = .01. Hostile sexism was not significantly related to system justifying beliefs, = .16, z = 1.74, p = .08. Also as predicted, system justification was positively related to life satisfaction, = .19, z = 2.54, p = .01. In addition, there was a significant positive covariance between hostile sexism and benevolent sexism, B = .50, z = 8.81, p < .001. Indirect effects Bootstrapping was used to test the significance of the indirect effects of benevolent a nd hostile sexism on life satisfaction. 1,000 bootstrapped samples from the data were created to determine the 95% confidence intervals for the indirect associations between benevolent sexism, hostile sexism, and life satisfaction. The results suggest th at benevolent sexism had a positive indirect effect on life satisfaction through system justification, B = .06 (95% CI: .001 .191), = .05, p = .04. Hostile sexism did not have a significant indirect effect on life satisfaction through system justifica tion, B = .04 (95% CI: .154 .004), = .03, p = .07.
28 Partially mediated model I predicted that diffuse system justification would fully mediate the relation between benevolent sexism and life satisfaction for both men and women. Thus, I predicted t hat direct paths from benevolent and hostile sexism would not be significant. To ensure that these paths were indeed non significant, I tested a partially mediated model including these two additional direct paths. The estimates for the direct paths test ed in the partially mediated model are provided in parentheses in Figure 3 1. The partially mediated model also adequately fit the data, 2 (48, N = 379) = 64.71, p = .05, CFI = 0.993, SRMR = 0.029, RMSEA = 0.030 (90% Confidence Interval: 0.00 0.048). As predicted, the direct path from benevolent sexism to life satisfaction was not significant, = .01, z = 0.13, p = .90. Also as predicted, the direct path from hostile sexism to life satisfaction was not significant, = .01, z = 0.13, p = .90. A nested model comparison indicated that the partially mediated model did not 2 (2, N = 379) = 0.02, p = .99. Because the direct paths were not significant and did not improve the fit of the model, it appears that the more parsimonious fully mediated model fits the data better. C omparisons of model for women and men In order to test if t he hypothesized model fit equally well for men and women, I conducted a multiple group analysis testing two nested models. I first tested a baseline model, which did not constrain the covariance and paths to be equal for men and women (Byrne, 2009). The fit of the baseline model was good, 2 (100, N = 379) = 110.66, p = .22, CFI = 0.995, SRMR = 0.037, RMSEA = 0.017 (90% Confidence Interval: 0.00 0.003),
29 I compared the fit of this model to the fit of a model in which all paths, including the covariance b etween benevolent and hostile sexism, were constrained to be equal for men and women. The model fit was good, 2 (104, N = 379) = 123.57 CFI = 0.992, SRMR = 0.051, and RMSEA = 0.022 (90% confidence interval: 0.000 0.036). Constraining the paths to be equal for men and women resulted in a significant 2 difference, 2 ( 4 N = 379 ) = 12.91 p = .01. This suggests that the strengths of the paths differ for men and women. paths differ for men and women, I constrained one covariance or path at a time and then measured the change in 2 If constraining a single path causes a significant increase in 2 this would indicate that the path differs for men and women. If constrai ning the covariance or path did not cause a significant change in 2 I kept that covariance or path constrained for subsequent tests, as recommended by Byrne (2009). Constraining the covariance between benevolent and hostile sexism did not result in a s ignificant change in model fit 2 (1, N = 379) = 0.94, p = .33, suggesting that the relation between benevolent and hostile sexism is not different for men and women. I next constrained the path from hostility toward women to system justification and fou nd a significant change in chi square 2 (2, N = 379) = 9.33, p = .01. The estimates provided in the baseline model suggest that the relation between hostile sexism and system justification is negative for women, = .29, z = 2.71, p < .01, but is not significant for men, = .18, z = 1.13, p = .26. Leaving this path unconstrained because it differs for men and women (Byrne, 2009), I next constrained the path from benevolent gender attitudes to system justification, which did not resul t in a significant change in
30 chi square, 2 (2, N = 379) = 1.64, p = .44. This suggests that the strength of the relation between benevolent sexism and system justification does not differ for men and women. Leaving this path constrained, I lastly constr ained the path from system justification to life satisfaction, which did not result in a significant change in model fit, 2 (3, N = 379) = 3.24, p = .36. This suggests that the strength of the relation between system justification and life satisfaction does not differ for men and women. Figure 3 2 depicts the model for women, which is identical to the model in Figure 3 1 except for the significant negative path between hostile sexism and system justification. Figure 3 3 reflects the model for men with th e non significant path between hostile sexism and system justification.
31 Table 3 1. Means, standard deviations, and independent t tests for s tudy variables Women Men Scale M SD M SD t (377) Benevolent Sexism 3.36 0.92 3.51 0.80 1.47 Hostile Sexism 3.01 0.89 3.57 0.86 5.54*** System Justification 4.89 0.90 4.97 0.83 0.79 Life Satisfaction 4.88 1.27 4.87 1.09 0.01 Note: Sample size is 271 women and 108 men. *** p < .001.
32 Table 3 2. Bivariate correlations among study variables. Benevolent Sexism Hostile Sexism System Justification Life Satisfaction Benevolent Sexism --.57*** .08 .02 Hostile Sexism .46*** --.09 .02 System Justification .24* .22* --.12 Life Satisfaction .08 .09 .19* --Note: Sample size is 271 women and 108 men. Correlations for women are above the diagonal and correlations for men and below. *** p < .001, ** p < .01; p < .05.
33 Figure 3 1 Structural model depicting the associations found among study variables for to tal sample ( Note: Standardized coefficients are presented for all directional paths. The covariance between benevolent sexism and hostile sexism is also presented. Dashed paths represent insignificant paths. Estimates in parentheses represent the estimates for the direc t paths that were tested in the partially mediated model. p < .05, ** p < .01, *** p < .001).
34 Figure 3 2. Structural model depicting the associations found among study variables for women. (Note: Model reflects the change in the path from hostile sexism to system justification that was found to be different for men and women. Standardized coefficients are presented for all directional paths. The covariance between benevolent sexism and ho stile sexism is also presented. p < .05, ** p < .01, *** p < .001).
35 Figure 3 3. Structural model depicting the associations found among study variables for men. (Note: Model reflects the change in the path from hostile sexism to system justification that was found to be different for men and women. Standardized coefficients are presented for all directional paths. The covariance between benevolent sexism and hostile sexism is also presented. *p < .05, **p < .01, ***p < .001).
36 CHAPTER 4 DI SCUSSION System justification theory (Jost & Banaji, 1994; Jost & Hunyady, 2005) proposes that complementary beliefs about members of high status and low status groups promote the sense that society as a whole is fair and bolster life satisfaction for memb ers of advantaged and disadvantaged groups. In an experiment, Jost and Kay (2005) found evidence suggesting that benevolent sexism, a traditional gender ideology that emphasizes the complementary roles of a warm female nurturer and a competent male protec tor (Glick & Fiske, 1996, 2001), promotes diffuse system justification, or the sense that the overall social structure is legitimate. However, most previous research specific aspects of gender rela tions, such as the sexual division of labor within and outside of families, the persistence of sexism, and the fairness of gender roles (Becker & Wright, 2011; Glick & Whitehead, 2010; Hammond & Sibley, 2011). Although these previous findings are consiste legitimize specific aspects of intergroup relations, they do not address system socie ty as a whole and indirectly promote life satisfaction for both women and men. To my knowledge, no study to date has examined if possessing benevolently sexist beliefs is related to believing that the overall social structure is just. In addition, no st attitudes should be indirectly linked to life satisfaction for both men and women through increased diffuse system justification. Therefore, the present study builds on pas t work by testing the extent to which benevolently sexist beliefs are positively related to the
37 sense that society as a whole is fair and, in turn, are indirectly related to life satisfaction for both women and men. Consistent with the hypotheses, struct ural equation modeling revealed that holding benevolently sexist beliefs were positively related to the belief that society is just for both women and men (Hypothesis 1a). In addition, these diffuse system justifying beliefs were positively related to lif e satisfaction for both women and men (Hypothesis 1b). The results also revealed that benevolent sexism was indirectly linked to life satisfaction for both men and women through diffuse system justifying beliefs (Hypothesis 1c). Also consistent with the hypotheses, I found that hostile sexism was too antagonistic to be associated with system justification (Hypothesis 2a): Hostile sexism was negatively related to system justification for women and unrelated to system justification for men. In turn, hostil e sexism did not have an indirect effect on life satisfaction for women or men (Hypothesis 2b). Finally, I found a positive relation between benevolent and hostile sexism (Hypothesis 3). Benevolent Sexism that complementary gender not only rationalize gender relations, as theorized by Tajfel (1981), but also legitimize the broader social structure. Thus, the correlational resul ts the gender system seem fair, benevolent sexism might also promote the sense that e a broader system justifying function. As Glick and Fiske (2001) argued, benevolently sexist beliefs may help legitimize the status quo by justifying gender roles and flattering women into cooperation with a
38 sexist system. Suggesting that women are war mer and more delicate than men not status leadership roles but also might cajole women into not protesting against unfair treatment. In addition, system justification mplementary portrayal of gender roles is crucial in legitimizing the overall social structure. Like complementary beliefs about the rich and the poor (Kay & Jost, 2003), complementary beliefs about men and women contribute to the sense that society is stru communality and warmth, benevolent sexism might counteract the apparent social advantage men possess due to their alleged increased agency and competence (Jost & nder role justification, flattery of women, and emphasis on the complementary nature of gender roles might render it particularly effective in justifying not only gender relations but also society as a whole. The results also suggest that benevolent sexis m might be a particularly dangerous social inequality in general. On one hand, previous research suggests that benevolent on by reinforcing traditional gender roles: Merely exposing women to benevolent sexism increases feelings of incompetence (Dumont et al., 2010), focus on physical appearance (Calogero & Jost, 2010), and submissive behavior (Moya et al., 2007), and benevole ntly sexist beliefs are related to attitudes excusing sexual harassment (Fiske & Glick, 1995; Pryor et al., 1995) and domestic violence (Glick et al., 2002; Sakalli, 2002). But on the other hand, by promoting the sense that society is fair, benevolently s exist beliefs may contribute to the maintenance of an unjust system involving a myriad of different types of social
39 inequality. Because it might help legitimize the existing social system, benevolent sexism could perpetuate the belief that social change i s not necessary (Becker & Wright, 2011; Jost & Hunyady, 2005). Thus, although benevolent sexism subordinates women by reinforcing traditional gender roles, the present study suggests that it also may contribute to the continuation of an unjust society by potentially promoting the belief that the overall social structure is fair and does not need reform. In addition, the results suggest that benevolent sexism is indirectly related to life satisfaction for both women and men, an indirect link that is media ted by the increased prediction that complementary ideologies bolster life satisfaction for members of both advantaged and disadvantaged groups by promoting the s ense that the overall social system is fair (Jost & Hunyady, 2005). For both men and women, benevolent sexism (Jost & Hunyady, 2005). Although benevolent sexism may prom ote satisfaction by justifying gender roles and flattering women, its emphasis on the complementary nature station in life. By suggesting that both men and women have socia lly valued and unique privilege and power is not only deserved due to their competence and agency but also men lack. This might prevent men from experiencing negative feelings, such as guilt, because of their their social station (Jost & Hunyady, 2005).
40 It is importan t to underscore that the process through which benevolent sexism is related to life satisfaction appears to be the same for both women and men: For both genders, benevolent sexism has an indirect effect on life satisfaction through increased diffuse, syste m (2011) differential process model, which suggests that the mechanism through which benevolent sexism is associated with life satisfaction differs for men and women. The present study off ers an alternate model to explain the process through which benevolent sexism relates to life satisfaction for women and men. The model tested in this study is not only grounded in system justification theory but is also more parsimonious than the differe ntial process model, suggesting that the mechanism through which benevolently sexist beliefs is associated with life satisfaction is identical for men and women and that increased diffuse system justification completely explains e relation to life satisfaction. Thus, the present study contributes to previous research by offering a simpler and more comprehensive model explaining the relation between benevolent sexism and life satisfaction for both men and women. By suggesting that benevolent sexism is indirectly related to life satisfaction through the perception that society as a whole is fair, the correlations results of the present study offer a tentative possible explanation for the prevalence of benevolently sexist beliefs among both men and women. Members of both genders may be motivated to possess benevolently sexist beliefs because such attitudes may legitimize the status quo, which, in turn, might lead to increased life satisfaction. Taken as a whole, th e results suggest that despite the harmful effects of benevolent sexism, men
41 and women might have a relatively strong motivation to maintain benevolently sexist attitudes. Thus, this study contributes to our understanding of why individuals might be motiv ated to hold prejudiced beliefs that perpetuate inequality. This might help researchers and clinicians in the field of counseling psychology better understand why individuals possess traditional gender attitudes that are oppressive in nature. Hostile Se xism In addition, the present study contributes to past research by suggesting that hostile sexist beliefs are indeed too antagonistic to contribute to the sense that society as a whole is fair: For men, hostile sexism was unrelated to system justification or life satisfaction, and for women, hostile sexism was negatively related to system justification. These findings are generally consistent with previous research suggesting that hostile sexism does not serve a broader system justifying function in relat ively gender egalitarian societies (Becker & Wright, 2011; Calogero & Jost, 2011; Jost & Kay, 2005; Napier et al., 2010). One potential reason hostile sexism was not positively associated with diffuse system justification is because gender equality remain s part of an ongoing discourse in American culture (Napier et al., 2010). This discourse continues despite compelling and overwhelming evidence of rampant, ongoing sexism (e.g., Heilman, 2001). Therefore, it is possible that hostile sexism is too readily associated with societal injustice. In addition, hostile sexism may not be an effective system justifying ideology because, unlike other victim derogating ideologies that serve a system justifying purpose, it does s subordination. For instance, Kay et al. (2005) suggested that victim derogating ideologies that promote system justification, such as belief in a just world, provide causal explanations for why members of the
42 disadvantaged group are disadvantaged. Altho ugh hostile sexism is certainly derogatory status. For instance, instead of providing an explanatory narrative, hostile sexism simply criticizes women for (a) striving to steal power from men through female sexuality or feminism, (b) complaining about sexism, and (c) failing to appreciate men (Glick & status, hostile sexism is ineffe ctive in justifying the current social structure, compared with other victim derogating ideologies. Importantly, the findings suggest that the relation between hostile sexism and diffuse system justification differs for men and women: Hostile sexism and sy stem justification are unrelated for men and negatively related for women. This gender difference might reflect the fact that women are more likely than men to find hostile sexism insulting, consistent with evidence that women consistently score lower on hostile sexism than men (Glick & Fiske, 1996; Glick et al., 2000). It is possible that the sense that society is unfair and in need of reformation. Limitations and Fut ure Research Although this study will hopefully clarify the relation between benevolent sexism, hostile sexism, and life satisfaction, it has several limitations. First, since the study is correlational in nature, these data cannot assess whether benevole nt sexism causes increased system justification or increased life satisfaction through system justification. Future studies that employ experimental or cross lagged panel designs might be better able to determine causal direction. For instance, a future study could investigate if exposing men and women to benevolently sexist statements increases diffuse system
43 justification, which, in turn, increases life satisfaction. In addition, a cross lagged panel study will examine if possessing benevolent sexism i s related to increased system justification and life satisfaction over time. is comprised mostly of White undergraduate students, the results of the present study may not ge neralize to other samples. Future research will, I hope, remedy this limitation by focusing on a broader, more representative population. The present study contributes to existing literature by offering a more parsimonious model explaining the link betwee n benevolent sexism and life satisfaction through diffuse system justification. It also suggests that men and women might be motivated to possess benevolently sexist beliefs because of their system justifying function. Future research might build on thes e results by creating interventions to reduce the endorsement of benevolent sexism, perhaps by challenging the belief that society is in fact structured fairly and justly. System justification theory predicts that benevolent sexism might promote life sat isfaction for both men and women by legitimizing existing social structures. However, it also predicts that for members of disadvantaged groups, such as women, system justifying ideologies result in decreased self esteem, increased depression, and even in creased neuroticism. For members of advantaged groups, such as men, system justifying ideologies have opposite effects, resulting in increased self esteem, decreased depression, and decreased neuroticism (Jost & Hunyady, 2005). Thus, even though the resu lts suggest that benevolently sexist beliefs might be indirectly related to
44 potentially harmful consequences of holding a system justifying ideology such as benevolent s exism. Given the different findings for men and women, future research might further investigate the association between hostile sexism and system justification as a function of participant gender. Although Glick and Whitehead (2010) found that hostile sexism might be positively related to gender specific system justification, other studies have found a negative relation between hostile sexism and gender specific system justification (Becker & Wright, 2011) or no relation between hostile sexism and syste m justification (Jost & Kay, 2005). In turn, although this study found that hostile sexism is not related to life satisfaction for men or women, Napier et al. (2010) and Hammond and Sibley (2011) found that hostile sexism was negatively related to life sa tisfaction for men. Thus, future research might further investigate the nature of the link between hostile sexism and life satisfaction. Despite its limitations, the present study contributes to the existing body of re benevolent sexism is associated with increased life satisfaction for both women and men and that this association is explained by an increase in diffuse system justifying belief s. Thus, the results offer an alternative and perhaps more comprehensive model explaining the relation between benevolent sexism and life satisfaction for both gende rs.
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51 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Kathleen Connelly was born and raised in Fairfax, Virginia. She receive d her B.A. from the Unive rsity of Virginia in May of 200 9 After working as a research assistant for Fisher Center for Familial Ca ncer Research she e ntered the doctoral program in the Department of Psychology at the University of Florida in August of 2010 She specializ e s in counseling psychology and received her M.S in 2012. Currently, h er research explores how living in a sexis experiences and mental health.