Sex Roles, Vol. 51, Nos. 7/8, October 2004 (
An Investigation of Taiwanese Female College
Students’ Sexist Attitudes
This study is an investigation of sexist attitudes of 940 Taiwanese female college students.
Participants completed a Chinese version of the Sexist Attitudes Toward Women Scale
(SATWS) as part of a larger study. Twelve women with the highest sexist attitude scores and
12 women with the lowest scores were interviewed individually. Results showed signiﬁcant
main effects due to age and grade point average (GPA) for responses to the SATWS. Stu-
dents majoring in music and interior design had higher mean scores than did students in four
other majors. To examine differences further, items rated highest and lowest by students in
four other academic major groups were identiﬁed and compared. Implications and research
recommendations are presented.
KEY WORDS: sexist attitudes; Taiwanese female college students.
Gender Stereotyping and Sexist Attitudes
Gender stereotyping has been investigated by
numerous researchers over the past three decades
(e.g., Benson & Vincent, 1980; Chesler, 1972;
Corning, 2002; Deaux & Lewis, 1983; Fung & Ma,
2000; Hong, McCarth Veach, & Lawrenz., 2003;
Martin, 1987; Martin & Halverson 1981; Moradi &
Subich, 2004; Shaffer, 1988; William & Best, 1990). In
their schematic processing model of sex-typing and
gender stereotyping, Martin and Halverson (1981)
deﬁned a gender stereotype as one type of subjective
perception of what men or women should be and how
they should behave. They further proposed that the
establishment of a basic gender identity is the cor-
nerstone of gender stereotyping. As children realize
their gender identity, they also acquire sets of beliefs
and expectations about boys and girls. These gender
stereotypes inﬂuence the kinds of information chil-
dren attend to, elaborate upon, and remember. Two
kinds of gender stereotypes are thought to be impor-
Tainan Woman’s College of Arts and Technology, Yung Kang,
Tainan, Taiwan, Republic of China.
To whom correspondence should be addressed at 18-1 No. 5
Cheng Hsin Road, San Ming District, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan,
Republic of China; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
tant. Initially, children acquire relatively superﬁcial
“in group” and “out-group” stereotypes as they learn
which objects, behaviors, and roles are characteris-
tic of boys and girls. Martin and Halverson’smodel
explains how gender stereotypes might contribute to
the development of strong gender role performances
and gender-typed behavior patterns.
Empirical evidence of gender-typed behavior
patterns was provided by Chesler (1972), who found
that men were described more often than women
in terms that connote intellectual competence, and,
although women were described positively for their
warmth and expressiveness, they were also viewed as
incompetent and passive. More recently researchers
have found similar behavioral patterns such that men
are expected to display instrumental traits/behaviors,
whereas women are expected to be expressive (e.g.,
Martin, 1987; William & Best, 1990).
Sexist attitudes toward women are deﬁned
as “attitudes limiting women’s social, political,
economic, and psychological development” (e.g.,
Benson & Vincent, 1980, p. 278). Several studies
have veriﬁed the pervasiveness of sexism in situa-
tions that range from cultural institutions to interper-
sonal relationships. Benson and Vincent (1980) con-
cluded that most of this research shows a widespread
2004 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.