Endorsement of sexist ideology in Taiwan and the United States: Social dominance orientation, right‐wing authoritarianism, and deferential family norms

I‐Ching Lee
Published Online:
01 Mar 2012
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 48 Issue 3

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Despite close relationships between men and women in daily lives, gender inequality is ubiquitous and often supported by sexist ideology. The understanding of potential bases of sexist ideology is thus important. According to Duckitt's dual‐process model (2001), different worldviews may explain different types of sexist ideology. Individuals who hold a “competitive world” worldview tend to endorse group‐based dominance. This lends itself to the endorsement of hostile sexism, because hostile sexism is an obvious form of male dominance. Conversely, individuals who hold a “dangerous world” worldview tend to adhere to social cohesion, collective security, and social traditions. This lends itself to the endorsement of benevolent sexism, because benevolent sexism values women who conform to gender norms. As predicted by Duckitt's model, research has shown that social dominance orientation, a general orientation towards the endorsement of group‐based dominance, is closely associated with hostile sexism. Furthermore, right‐wing authoritarianism, which measures adherence to social traditions, is closely associated with benevolent sexism. Due to the interdependent nature of gender relationships, the current research proposed that a relationship‐based belief in hierarchy, deferential family norms, and norms depicting proper manners among family members should predict the endorsement of hostile and benevolent sexism, after controlling for social dominance orientation and right‐wing authoritarianism. As predicted, according to student samples collected in Taiwan and the US, the endorsement of deferential family norms predicted the endorsement of hostile sexism and of benevolent sexism, respectively. In addition, among men and women, social dominance orientation predicted hostile sexism more strongly (as opposed to benevolent sexism), whereas right‐wing authoritarianism predicted benevolent sexism more strongly (as opposed to hostile sexism). Implications regarding relationship norms, social dominance orientation, right‐wing authoritarianism, and sexist ideology are discussed.

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