I read a couple of chapters today in a very interesting book on the The Psychology of Legitimacy. Both chapters talked about ambivalent prejudice/stereotypes (unlike other scholars, the authors seemed not to distinguish between these two concepts). They mentioned a couple of inventories that I thought sounded interesting: The Ambivalent Sexism Inventory and the Ambivalence toward Men Inventory. The ASI can be taken online (just follow the link…). It is supposed to measure hostile and benevolent sexism. Hostile sexism is the good old sexism of negative feelings toward women. Benevolent sexism describes positive stereotypes toward women that still keep us “in our place.” For example, considering women more nurturing (but not good at math) would be benevolent sexism. It is also expressed in holding doors for women (because we’re too weak to open them ourselves). If you take the ASI, you’ll also notice a few questions that capture couplemania! Questions that suggest that a man isn’t truly complete until he’s found The One. Couplemania can be an expression of sexism! The benevolent sexism definition offered supports this connection:
“Benevolent sexism,” a knight-in-shining armor ideology that offers protection and affection to women who conform to traditional gender roles.
I am too tired now to muse about the commonalities and differences between benevolent sexism and couplemania. For now, I’ll just notice that there seems to be an interesting commonality!