The Two Faces of Sexism: Hostility, Benevolence, and American Elections

Nicholas J.G. Winter | Associate Professor, University of Virginia

Friday, January 25, 2019 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM

Gibson 296


Though sexism is often understood, by analogy with racism, as hostile prejudice toward women, I argue that gender prejudice includes a second face, so-called “benevolent” sexism. Analyzing unique nationally-representative survey data I demonstrate that both shaped presidential candidate evaluations and voting. Moving to the congressional level, I show that each face operates differently. In analyses of actual congressional candidates and in a conjoint experiment, I nd that hostile sexism is moderated by candidate sex: those high in hostile sexism oppose (and those low in hostile sexism favor) female candidates. Benevolent sexism, on the other hand, is moderated by a candidate’ gendered leadership style: those high in benevolent sexism oppose candidates with feminine styles and they favor candidates with masculine styles, regardless of whether the candidate is male or female. I conclude with consideration of a two-faced conception of sexism for our analysis of the political psychology of gender and power.

This is the 2019-2020 American Politics Seminar