Bane of Adam's rib : religious priming effects on sexism.
Access changed 5/21/14.
Previous research has indicated that sexism can be separated into factors of ambivalence – hostile and benevolent – to address the many issues that arise with discrimination against women. Whereas hostile sexism is openly negative toward women, benevolent sexism positively camouflages unfair differentiation between the sexes. Many cultural organizations and traditions subtly approve of sexism, including Judeo-Christian religious beliefs. The present study examined the effect of different types of subliminal religious priming – agent, institution, or spiritual – on attitudes toward women, hostile sexism, and benevolent sexism. Participants exposed to religious primes were more likely to endorse benevolent sexist statements than those in a control group. This effect remained after controlling for participant gender and self-reported religiosity. The main difference was between the agent religious prime condition and the control group. The implications of religious approval of benevolent sexist attitudes and behaviors are examined, as well as connections with personality and cognitive styles.