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Negative consequence of benevolent sexism on efficacy and performance

Kristen Jones (Department of Psychology, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA)
Kathy Stewart (Department of Psychology, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA)
Eden King (Department of Psychology, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA)
Whitney Botsford Morgan (College of Business, University of Houston – Downtown, Houston, Texas, USA)
Veronica Gilrane (Department of Psychology, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA)
Kimberly Hylton (Department of Psychology, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Article publication date: 29 April 2014

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Abstract

Purpose

Previous research demonstrates the damaging effects of hostile sexism enacted towards women in the workplace. However, there is less research on the consequences of benevolent sexism: a subjectively positive form of discrimination. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing from ambivalent sexism theory, the authors first utilized an experimental methodology in which benevolent and hostile sexism were interpersonally enacted toward both male and female participants.

Findings

Results suggested that benevolent sexism negatively impacted participants' self-efficacy in mixed-sex interactions. Extending these findings, the results of a second field study clarify self-efficacy as a mediating mechanism in the relationship between benevolent sexism and workplace performance.

Originality/value

Finally, benevolent sexism contributed incremental prediction of performance above and beyond incivility, further illustrating the detrimental consequences of benevolently sexist attitudes towards women in the workplace.

Keywords

Citation

Jones, K., Stewart, K., King, E., Botsford Morgan, W., Gilrane, V. and Hylton, K. (2014), "Negative consequence of benevolent sexism on efficacy and performance", Gender in Management, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 171-189. https://doi.org/10.1108/GM-07-2013-0086

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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