Differen Types of Sexism

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This paper is to define different types of sexism. Several types have been identified using different methods of discovery. Traditional sexism, modern sexism and ambivalent sexism which will be broken down to hostile sexism and benevolent sexism all have implications on individuals and its effects are seen cognitively, physical, socially and in personality development.

Sexism can be found defined as prejudice or discrimination based on sex especially: discrimination against women. (Merriam-Webster Online. n.d.) More often, the belief associated with women being inferior to men because of their sex. Ambivalent sexism was explained by Glick and Fiske's (1996, 2001) as a theory that sexism consists of two sexist attitudes: hostile and benevolent. Each attitude was measured with amazing results. Peter Glick and Susan Fisk developed and demonstrated the tendencies of both male and female participants towards sexism as well as measuring the degree of sexism used and accepted.. Susan Fiske help reveal the attitude woman have towards the use of sexism.


Traditional Sexism

Traditional sexism is easiest to define as it simply repeats the belief associated with it. Traditional sexism has been confirmed that it is a deep-seated belief. Women should have traditional roles in society only. Those who practice this belief describe it as normal or a natural process when measured and assessed (Swim & Cohen et.al). Women should not work outside the home but instead take care of the home. Women are to take care of the family and home, the taking care is the main point. Women are naturally care givers, in John Bowlby' attachment theory infants require a safe and secure place which the primary care given usual the mother or female provides. This attachment is important for cognitive, emotional and social development throughout life. Mary Ainsworth piggyback off Bowlby's notion to develop the Ainsworth Strange Situation which shows the levels of attachment to infant and mother and its effect at different degrees. This only solidifies the view that women should stay home and not work outside the home when children are present. Traditional sexism also holds on to the traditional stereotyping of women physically. Femine features are often referred to as delicate, pretty and gentle. During the adolescent years of establishing identity and self-esteem sexism in society deems a young woman physically acceptable through sexism stereotyping. This theme is repeated through all forms of sexism leading to young girls having eating disorders accompanied by low self-esteem because they do not look like what the sexist media displays. As mentioned in our textbook,Late

Modern Sexism and Neo-Sexism

This form of modern sexism takes the gender part of sexism and assigns it its role in society. For example, a woman can work outside the home but in an appropriate job or career. You can be a teacher but not the president of the Unites States. Modern Sexism also denies that there is bias because gender assigned careers for women are those that take care of others. Described during cognitive development, gender schema is how gender data is processed and filed. (Babera, 2003). Little ones start to pick up on what is acceptable for boys and what is acceptable girls. Women should be nurses, not doctors, due to the care giving nature of the job and males should be soldiers or police officers due to the dangerous nature of those jobs. Neo-Sexism is according to Tougas et al. (1995) that contemporary sexism or neo-sexism can be defined as a manifestation of conflict between egalitarian values and residual negative feelings towards women (p.843). In a nut shell, women have achieved equality and to verify there is law now prohibiting discrimination based on sex. However, we see the negative affect of mandatory hiring of unqualified people due to their sexual orientation everywhere in the workforce. Peter Glick authored several insightful discoveries regarding sexism in the workplace

Hostile sexism.

Hostile sexism is usually experienced via a demeaning remark or chauvinistic statement from a man. Having an openly negative attitude towards women. Dominance over women due to her being incompetent and inferior is hostile sexism calling card. Many cultures are negligent to the obscenity of their conjecture. For example, two cases heard in U. S. courts one of a Chinese man who killed his wife due to his assumption of infidelity and the other a Laotian man who kidnapped and sexually assaulted a 16-year-old were given light sentences for their crimes. The lawyers in both cases argued that in their native countries, as well as Asian countries in general, their actions were accepted and justified as hostility against women was a social norm. (Feldman pg.390)

Other forms may be a sexist joke or statement. Catcalling which is a form of harassment as well is sexist.
In contrast, hostility toward men, hostile men, is rooted in women's resentment of men's higher status, dominance (e.g. sexual aggressiveness, paternalism) and the continued inequality between women and men (Glick & Fiske, 1999). In their research, Glick & Fiske found overwhelming evidence that supported views of Benevolent Sexism.

Sexism Benevolent sexism is not as contrary as many perceive it. In different forms of style benevolent sexism can be welcomed by women. Benevolent meaning kind hearted doing good, charitable or good-natured as the word is positive so befitting as it is combined with sexism. Benevolent Sexism is not recognized as a type of sexist prejudice among many women and men. (Barreto & Ellemers, 2005; Bohner, Ahlborn, & Steiner, 2010; Glick et al., 2000; Swim, Mallett, Russo-Devosa, & Stangor, 2005).

Benevolent Sexism can be as detrimental as hostile sexism. According to research, a male college professor thinking he is being thoughtful or nice, assigned an easier assignment to the only female student in his class. While the professor may feel he is merely being thoughtful, in fact he may be making the women fell that she is not taken seriously and undermining her view of her competence (Feldman pg. 328-Dardenne, Dumont & Bollier, 2007).

When a man opens a door for a woman, is that benevolent sexism. Does he really think that a woman is incapable of opening a door or is he displaying his confirmed belief that the woman is inferior to him and as she passing through the open door and thanks him, she too has silently confirmed the same way of thinking. I asked 3 different women from 3 different ages and ethnicities about this scenario. All three woman gave me very similar answers. The first in her 30's stated, the man was being nice because my hands where full. The second women, in her 60's said, he should hold the door open if he was raised right. The third in her 40's stated, It is the way it is supposed to, if his mother taught him correctly. Summed up the three women believe the man had manners, nothing more. Are manners sexist or invented on sexist ideology? Glick & Fisk research showed overwhelming evidence that Benevolent Sexist beliefs represent a particular type of sexism that might be disregarded because of its ostensibly positive qualities (Glick & Fiske, 1996).

In their research, Glick and Fiske (1996, 1999) developed a scale to measure hostile and benevolent sexism toward women (the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory [ASI]). BS includes three factors: protective paternalism (chivalry toward women), complementary gender differentiation (stereotypic roles for women), and heterosexual intimacy (believing men and women are incomplete without each other). Women and men scored more BS traits for mates in their research lending to the thought that it is socially accepted everywhere.


Whether we ignore it, attack it or accept it claims guilt ridden patrons and victims of both sexes by allowing a certain pattern of events ingrained in our culture to exist. Sexism is a form prejudice but research shows American women accept many forms of this prejudice. People simple do not know the difference and may mislabel these acts as a normal form of interaction.


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Differen Types Of Sexism. (2019, Jul 24). Retrieved April 22, 2024 , from

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