Agency and Virtue: Dimensions Underlying Subgroups of Women

Agency and Virtue: Dimensions Underlying Subgroups of Women Previous research indicates that the stereotype of women can be considered to have 3 subgroups: housewife, career woman, and sex object. In 2 samples (N = 19 and 35), we found evidence that these subgroups can be reliably distinguished in terms of 2 dimensions: agency and virtue. Participants sorted 27 feminine traits and then rated these traits in terms of their agency and virtue. Cluster analysis and multidimensional scaling with property fitting were used to identify subgroups, to fit virtue and agency dimensions to the subgroups, and to test for differences among the subgroups in terms of virtue and agency. Across both samples, agency and virtue fit the subgroups well (average R 2 = .75), produced many significant differences among the subgroups, and are consistent with a system-justification perspective of sexism (Glick & Fiske, 2001) in which a belief in women's virtue and lack of agency reflects and maintains status differences between men and women. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Agency and Virtue: Dimensions Underlying Subgroups of Women

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1023/B:SERS.0000003133.90488.71
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Previous research indicates that the stereotype of women can be considered to have 3 subgroups: housewife, career woman, and sex object. In 2 samples (N = 19 and 35), we found evidence that these subgroups can be reliably distinguished in terms of 2 dimensions: agency and virtue. Participants sorted 27 feminine traits and then rated these traits in terms of their agency and virtue. Cluster analysis and multidimensional scaling with property fitting were used to identify subgroups, to fit virtue and agency dimensions to the subgroups, and to test for differences among the subgroups in terms of virtue and agency. Across both samples, agency and virtue fit the subgroups well (average R 2 = .75), produced many significant differences among the subgroups, and are consistent with a system-justification perspective of sexism (Glick & Fiske, 2001) in which a belief in women's virtue and lack of agency reflects and maintains status differences between men and women.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 28, 2004

References

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