Masser, Barbara and Abrams, Dominic
Reinforcing the glass ceiling: The consequences of hostile sexism for female managerial candidates.
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Previous research has established that benevolent sexism is related to the negative evaluation
of women who violate specific norms for behavior. Research has yet to document the
causal impact of hostile sexism on evaluations of individual targets. Correlational evidence
and ambivalent sexism theory led us to predict that hostile sexism would be associated with
negative evaluations of a female candidate for a masculine-typed occupational role. Participants
completed the ASI (P. Glick & S. T. Fiske, 1996) and evaluated a curriculum vitae
from either a male or female candidate. Higher hostile sexism was significantly associated
with more negative evaluations of the female candidate and with lower recommendations
that she be employed as a manager. Conversely, higher hostile sexism was significantly associated
with higher recommendations that a male candidate should be employed as a manager.
Benevolent sexism was unrelated to evaluations and recommendations in this context. The
findings support the hypothesis that hostile, but not benevolent, sexism results in negativity
toward individual women who pose a threat to men’s status in the workplace.
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