Sexy Sexists? Women's Dating Preferences and
Perceptions of Benevolent Sexist Males
Breanna R. Nelson
Pacific Lutheran University
Graphs and Tables
Ambivalent sexism theory (Glick & Fiske 1996)
Support was found for the following hypotheses:
describes sexism as involving two separate and distinct
(1)Women will choose the benevolent sexist
types, hostile and benevolent sexism:
Date Choices by Percentage
as a date choice in the control condition.
Hostile sexism (HS) is comprised of resentment and
(3)Women will rate the benevolent sexist
negative opinions of women.
higher on all measures of attractiveness
Benevolent sexism (BS) is characterized by ostensibly
26.72 .000 .483
1 11.396 .001 .339 3.376 .001
in the control condition.
positive attitudes towards women which typically
portray women as weak, needing the protection of a
23.124 .000 .456
(5)Females who score higher in benevolent
man, or contribute to the objectification of women.
sexism on the ASI Glick & Fiske 1996) will
In order to obtain the supposed benefits of BS, some
rate benevolent sexist males higher on all
women may be drawn to accept this inequality and
therefore may find men with benevolent sexist beliefs to
However, across the board, (regardless of physical
be more attractive.
-.282 -2.759 .007
attractiveness) women preferred the benevolent
Past research also indicates that physical appearance can
-.134* -1.264* .209
have a profound effect on people's judgments of others
and that individuals tend to favor those who are more
The present study supports the theory that
physically attractive (Miller 1970).
-.340 -3.386 .001
because benevolent sexism has the potential to
-.205* -1.966* .052
*Value not significant
John(BS) More Attractive
Kyle(NS) More Attractive
be viewed as beneficial to women, women are
Note: Asterisked values are not significant. All other values are significant at p=.05 or
more attracted to men who possess
lower, p values for each variable are listed in the chart.
benevolent sexist beliefs and ideals.
Though women were evenly distributed in
142 females attending a medium sized
Benevolent Sexist Profile
Neutral Sexist (Egalitarian) Profile
John is an adult male who firmly believes that, despite any
Kyle is an adult male who believes that women are seeking only
their own benevolent sexist beliefs, the vast
achievements, a man's life remains incomplete without the love of a
equality and freedom from discrimination, not special treatment or
majority of women still rated the benevolent
Participants were randomly assigned to one of
woman. He feels that such a relationship should be one in which the
unfair advantage over men. In cases of extreme danger or hardship,
sexist profile higher, and chose to date that
three experimental conditions.
man upholds the woman as an object of adoration. He is convinced
he feels that a person's sex should not be a factor in determining
male more often.
that women have a more highly developed and keenly felt moral
who is helped first. He is convinced that neither sex is superior
In all conditions participants were asked to read
sense than do men and that they are disposed to act in a more
with respect to moral sensibility or ethical behavior. He also holds
The danger of this occurring is that it only
BS and neutral/egalitarian personality profiles.
ethical fashion. He believes that women possess a naturally superior
that neither sex possesses more refined taste or esthetic judgment
perpetuates the often negative gender
In the control condition, participants saw no
aesthetic sensibility which makes them better judges in matters of
than the other. He feels that intimacy with women is important to
stereotypes associated with benevolent sexist
pictures paired with the male profiles.
culture and taste. He sees women as being in need of male
men, but not necessary for a worthwhile life. He does not believe
protection and as entitled to special treatment (such as being
that most women attempt to control or restrain men with whom
In the first experimental condition, participants
rescued or treated for injuries first) in a disaster or emergency. He
they share a relationship. It is his opinion that it is rare for women
saw the more attractive face paired with
holds the view that it is a man's obligation to provide financial
to willingly tempt men sexually with the intent of rejecting and
Future Research could explore:
John(BS) and the less attractive face paired with
support and economic security for a woman.
frustrating them for enjoyment.
The effect of education about benevolent
sexism on women's attraction to
In the second experimental condition, the
photos were reversed.
Whether males are attracted to females
After reading the profiles, participants rated
who are benevolent sexists or not.
each profile on favorability measures, desirability
for level of commitment measures, and were
asked to choose which male they would rather
go on a date with.
Finally, participants were asked to complete the
Glick, P., & Fiske, S. T. (1996). The Ambivalent Sexism Inventory:
Ambivalent Sexism Inventory (ASI), to measure
Differentiating hostile and benevolent sexism. Journal of Personality
Hostile Sexism (HS)
Benevolent Sexism (BS)
and Social Psychology, 70(3), 491-512. doi:10.1037/0022
their level of benevolent sexism.
Miller, A. G. Role of physical attractiveness in impression formation.
Psychonomic Science, 1970, 19,241-243
1)Women will choose the benevolent sexist as a
A Chi-square test revealed that more females chose the BS (John) than the NS (Kyle) 2 (1, N=142) =
date choice in the control condition.
2)Women will select the more attractive male as
a date choice when pictures are present.
In the condition where John (BS) was more physically attractive, an overwhelming (80%) of women chose
I would like to thank my capstone advisor, Dr.
3)Women will rate the benevolent sexist higher
Michelle Ceynar, for her inspiration, wonderful
John (BS) as a date partner, whereas merely (20%) of women chose Kyle (NS) as a date partner.
on all measures of attractiveness in the control
advice, and statistics counseling. I would also like
In the condition where Kyle (NS) was more physically attractive only (41%) chose Kyle (NS) whereas
to thank my capstone advisors Dr. John Moritsugu
(59%) chose John (BS).
4)Women will rate the more attractive male
and Dr. Christine Moon for their guidance and
higher on all measures of attractiveness when
In the control condition (44%) of women chose Kyle (NS) while (56%) of women chose John(Benevolent
feedback. In addition, I would like to acknowledge
pictures are present.
Katie Wilks, for her extensive work peer reviewing
5)Females who score higher in benevolent sexism
my project. Furthermore, I would like to thank my
These differences were statistically significant, 2 (2, N=142) = 7.378, p=.025. See Figure 1.
on the ASI will rate benevolent sexist males
friends for their support and time as well as my
higher on all measures.
family for their emotional and monetary support.