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Negative reactions of men to the loss of power in gender relations: Lilith vs. Eve

Author(s): M. Carmen Herrera | Francisca Expósito | Miguel Moya

Journal: European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context
ISSN 1889-1861

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 17;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: gender | sexism | power | threat | violence

This paper examines the reaction of the man when he sees he is losing power and authority over a woman and it relation with men’s sexist ideology. 83 men participated in the study and were led to believe they were interacting via computer with a woman, and answered a decision-making task about family relationships. All of them were assigned the role of someone with authority and power. In half the cases, the woman accepted the man's decisions, and, in the other half, she did not accept. The results showed that when woman did not accept the decisions of the man, she was perceived more negatively. Moreover, the more hostile sexist participants were, the more they rated negatively their female partner, especially when the woman did not accept their decisions. Hostile sexism acts as a corrective tool against those women who defy the traditionally higher status accorded to men. The valuation that woman receive in their interaction with man is determined by what man feel threatened. These results are of great interest in the field of gender violence, since it is one more step towards explaining why some men use violence to attempt to regain their threatened or lost power.
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