Expressive-Instrumental Traits and Sexist Attitudes among Spanish University Professors

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In this study we analyze the link between Instrumental/Expressive traits and sexist attitudes. The sample is made up of 496 male and female Spanish university professors (230 women and 266 men). In addition to collecting sociodemographic information from the participants, the following scales were administered: the Personal Attributes Questionnaire by Spence and Helmreich (PAQ, 1978); the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory [ASI, Glick and Fiske: 1996, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 70, pp. 491–512]; and the Neosexism Scale [Tougas et al.: 1995, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 21(8), pp. 842–849]. The data reveal that while the participants in our study subscribe less to sexist attitudes than the general population, the men continue to hold more hostile and benevolent sexist attitudes than do the women in our study. Surprisingly, however, we find that both female and male professors are less favorable toward affirmative action aimed at increasing women's presence in the public sphere than the general population. As expected, women and men are equally instrumental, although women continue to show a greater number of expressive traits than men. Conversely, men score higher on instrumentality/expressiveness, which correlates positively with instrumentality and negatively with expressiveness. We also find some significant differences in levels of instrumentality and expressiveness when comparing the male and female professors and taking field of study into account. Lastly, we find negative correlations between expressiveness and Hostile Sexism (HS) and between masculinity and HS among women, and between expressiveness and Benevolent Sexism (BS) among men. To conclude, we offer some insight into the potential implications of these results.

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