The increasing share of arrests for violent offences by young women in Britain has prompted the media to brand such offenders as “ladettes.” Their behavior is argued to result from their adoption of “laddish” attitudes that in turn is derived from new, aggressive images of women in the media. These images explicitly portray female aggression as an instrumental act in contrast to the traditionally expressive stereotype of female aggression. We examine the relationship, in an undergraduate sample, among “laddishness” (here operationalized as attitudes that support the acceptability of traditionally working-class youthful male social behavior by young women), instrumental and expressive social representations of aggression, and self-reported aggression. In both genders, measures of aggression are correlated with holding a more instrumental representation of aggression. For young women, there is no relationship between laddish attitudes and either aggression or social representations. For young men, approval of laddish behavior by women is negatively associated with an instrumental view of aggression that is positively correlated with three measures of aggression.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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