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.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 28, 2004
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