Ferreira, M.C., University of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil
Glick and Fiske (1996) consider that sexism is characterized by a strong ambivalence which expresses itself through negative (hostile sexism) and positive (benevolent sexism) sentiments toward women. The manifestations of hostile sexism include agression and violence which victimize women and the manifestations of benevolent sexism are associated with the protection behaviors that men show towards women. These two forms of sexism are not in conflict since they both reflect the structural power and the masculine dominance that have historically marked gender social relations. Thus they should be related and endorsed more frequently by men. For testing these predictions, the authors developed and validated the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory. The present work aimed at replicating the bi-factorial structure of sexism (benevolent and hostile sexism) as well as verifying the relations between these factors and the gender differences concerning this ideology in a Brazilian sample of university students. The Ambivalent Sexism Inventory, composed of 22 questions in a 6-point Likert response format, was answered by 540 students from both sexes. The results supported the bi-dimensional structure of sexism and showed that the benevolent and hostile sexism scales were correlated. Moreover, it was observed that men's attitudes were significantly more hostile than women's attitudes. The data confirmed the psychometric properties of the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory for Brazilian samples and added cross-cultural support to the ambivalent sexism theory, that sees benevolent sexism as a tool for legitimating hostile sexism and perpetuating gender inequalities.