Re: Benevolent Sexism Attractive To Women, Study Shows
Just a comment to posters, why post studies without a comment of your own?
The purpose of the following observations is to situate what counts as benevolent sexism, according to the study's authors. The purpose of the study is to meet research into what is called benevolent sexism (the definition of which the authors may or may not agree with), with "parental investment theory."
However, the definition of "benevolent sexism" is eye-watering.
The following is quoted in the article, word for word from the study.
“Hostile sexism (HS) encompasses overtly prejudiced attitudes, whereas benevolent sexism (BS) involves subjectively positive attitudes (e.g., “women should be cherished and protected by men”), chivalrous behaviors, and attempts to achieve intimacy with women.”
Benevolent sexism includes attempts to achieve intimacy with women. This is either an Andrea Dworking-style, "all sex is rape" definition of sexism, that categorically places normal gendered behavior into a politically hostile ghetto (of rape or sexism), or it's a very poorly worded definition on the part of the study's authors.
There isn't a single example of benevolent sexism offered in the introduction that would situate the author's definition. It moves immediately to supposed consequences of BS (a convenient short-hand).
Here are the studies in support of this idea:
Dardenne, B., Dumont, M., & Bollier, T. (2007). Insidious dangers of benevolent sexism: Consequences for women’s performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93, 764-779. doi:10.1037/0022-35220.127.116.114
Glick, P., & Fiske, S. T. (1996). The Ambivalent Sexism Inventory: Differentiating hostile and benevolent sexism. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 491-512. doi:10.1037//0022-3518.104.22.1681
I don't have access to this literature to see how their work grounds this definition.
Here are some examples found in the "Supplemental Materials" section at the end of the study:
Study 1a, BS condition
He feels that, no matter how accomplished he is, he is not truly complete as a person without the love of a woman. He thinks that a woman should be set on pedestal by her man. He is convinced that in general women are more pure than men and they tend to have a superior moral sensibility. Mark thinks that women should be cherished and protected by men. In case of a disaster or emergency situation, he thinks that women should be helped before men.
Study 1a, non-BS condition
He feels that he can be truly complete as a person without the love of a woman, especially if he is personally accomplished. He doesn't think that a woman should be set on pedestal by her man. He is convinced that neither sex is superior with respect to purity or moral sensibility. He thinks that women should not necessarily be cherished or protected by men. In case of a disaster or emergency situation, he thinks that a person's sex should not be a factor determining who is helped first.
Despite the “romantic” undertone, researchers noted, benevolent sexism still reinforces the notion that women are inferior.
In Study 2a, we find BS in how a man might help a woman. The study participants were offered two men, Robert and John, who were identical in every way, except in particular behaviors:
Robert/John and John/Robert are both colleagues of yours. You have got to know them both a bit because you have often worked in pairs with one or the other and you have attended a few meetings and short business trips with each of them. They both look about the same physically and they are both about as competent at their job as each other.
You have noticed that they behave slightly differently at times though. For example, on one occasion when you were attending a short business trip with Robert/John, you had to get from a train station to the hotel where your conference meeting was being held. The taxi had not turned up so you decided you had to walk in order to get there in time. It was December and it was very cold. [BS condition] After saying something about how cold it was, Robert/John took his coat off and gave it to you, even though he only had a thin suit jacket on underneath. On another occasion later that same month, you had been on another short business trip with John/Robert. It was still very cold and you were walking from the train station back to your office and it was about the same distance you had to walk in the cold last time. [non-BS condition] After saying something about how cold it was, John/Robert, who was wearing a thin suit jacket under his coat, did not offer to give you his coat.
Reading into this, I assume "attempts to achieve intimacy with women" means "attempts to charm women (into intimacy) by giving them preferential treatment."
What feminism-driven research is attempting to do, which the authors of these studies is disrupting, is to position the preferential treatment of women as politically damaging treatment. This is actually a position I tend to agree with. I personally believe men's preferential treatment of women makes them weaker, lazy, less desperate to achieve success, thus less successful.
The problem is that feminism allows women to problematize the preferential treatment shown to them (turning a prima facie positive into a subtle negative), while benefiting from preferential treatment. It's grabbing resources, attention, and affirmation from men, while punishing men for offering those resources, attention, and affirmation, packaging it up as a form of political oppression (patriarchy), which men are solely responsible for.
Studies like this cut through the nonsense. It says: benevolent sexism may have negative consequences, but it's desired by women:
We propose an alternative explanation drawn from evolutionary and sociocultural theories on mate preferences: women find BS men attractive because BS attitudes and behaviors signal that a man is willing to invest.
If women express this unconscious bias toward BS men, even when they have conscious knowledge of the supposed negative effects of BS upon women politically, feminists can no longer claim BS is a product of male supremacy. It is a joint product of deep reproductive politics, for which women must take their share of the responsibility, as they take their share of the benefits of being placed on the pedestal.
feminism == equality + pedestal =/= equality.
personally believe men's preferential treatment of women makes them weaker, lazy, less desperate to achieve success, thus less successful
Not doing so appears to cause PMS though.
feminism == equality + pedestal =/= equality
I guess we can shorten that to feminism ? equality.
Women will always be on the pedestal because men are hardwired to care for women and women are not hardwired for reciprocity. Instead, they are hardwired to exploit and to be unwilling to settle with a partner of lower rank. (The alternative would also be unstable anyway as a stronger male in her mating pool would be able to threaten her decision if she decided for a weaker male.)
So the patriarchy is exactly a means of counteracting this innate anti-(beta)-male bias; it is basically egalitarianism. It basically artificially makes men more attractive by rituals, affirmative action (e.g. boys-only domains/clubs), strict rank enforcement and economic dependence such that women more likely feel like actually having a valuable/high-status partner. This should also allow women to experience more orgasms in a monogamous society as they orgasm more the higher the economic status and confidence of their partner is. Not doing so should theoretically make monogamous bonds unstable and we are indeed seeing a growing divorce rates. Another prediction is that more men should be rendered unable to impress a woman by their relative socioeconomic rank; and fewer males should be motivated by classical courtship and incentives for achievements of founding a family, both of which should reduce overall reduce cultural drive, which we are likely seeing too (incels, Hikikomoris, opioid crisis; though all of those have an economic component).
Now, one might expect the negative utility listed above might have been canceled out by the utility of an improvement of women's lives, but it looks like feminism has not even made women happier as career-oriented women seem to often find themselves in positions in which they are not very satisfied because they cannot find a satisfying mate or because their career conflicts with motherhood. I also suspect feminism even increases BS, because men are being raised to be so agreeable, intimidated and soft that they fulfill any wishes. There is positive utility in shape of increased economic productivity, but it's questionable to which extent that has actually made us happier. Positive emotion is mostly associated with goal pursuit (cocaine, emphatemine), and as goals are becoming diffuse, gender-incompatible or unattainable, it obviously makes us less happy.
That said, the study posted by OP surprised me since even self-described feminists preferred the explicitly sexist hypothetical male.
Some women are sneaky like that. I think it is a result of the lack of true female-male or female-female competition. We are seeing the same in the lack of true competition due to declining economic growth in the West: things start to become corrupt, improper and sneaky because the free market does not eliminate behavior and assumptions that are misaligned with reality. The raise of bullshit jobs. Women are basically chronically in this position because they are mostly always desired by men for their reproductive organs largely irrespective of their behavior and assumptions. Which does not mean that this expresses in all women to pathological degree or that men do not have their own gender-specific pathologies, but feminism, even though it probably had the intention of improving this has actually made it worse by making men more feminine/agreeable and by eliminating corrective feedback targeted at women.