Ambivalent Sexism Inventory

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11th January, 2013 3 comments

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3 Responses to “Ambivalent Sexism Inventory”

  1. Freda Dagg Jan 12 2013, 10:53pm

    The terms 'hostile sexism' and 'benevolent sexism' are pejorative and arbitrary, implying certain traits that may or may not actually exist in people however they might answer these items. They are not traits in any meaningful or established sense that have much external validity, but only invented labels that have been assigned to certain answers on this inventory. It would be only slightly less valid to ask for answers to a series of math problems then to label people who gave certain response profiles as 'racist'. For example, the current inventory asks some questions about 'feminists'. Many men and women will refer to themselves as feminists and agree with some notion they have of feminism, an ideology that actually spans a wide range of opinions, beliefs, aims and writings from moderate to extreme that have changed over time. For example, a mainstay of feminism in the mid to late 20th century was denial of inherent biological differences between the genders, instead believing that most sex differences were caused by social attitudes conveyed in child-rearing. That is no longer a defining belief in feminism and neither is treating girls and boys as neutrally gendered an aim of modern feminsm. Further, most feminists claim to define the ideology as 'seeking gender equality' but exactly what that means is unclear and I challenge anyone to point to any 'feminist' ever challenging or opposing gender inequality in any of the many ways that it disadvantages men. So it isn't gender equality but only an absence of female disadvantage that is the main aim of the feminism currently in practice, female advantage being accepted. Anwers to questions about 'feminists' do not necessarily have anything to do with sexism, relationships or attitudes between men and women.

    The inventory claims to measure sexism but appears to believe that sexism is only something that can be done to women, as though sexism can be measured without consideration of sexism towards men. This shows the ideologically biased nature of the inventory. A worthless, no, dangerous piece of social-engineering machinery.
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  2. Kerin Jan 11 2013, 11:15am

    On the test for sexism I came out significantly lower than average for benevolent sexism and higher for hostile sexism. I did have trouble with deciding on the hostile sexism questions mainly because they asked things I could not know so for the questions about feminists I based my answer on my experience. For example the feminists I met at university in 1987 had unrealistic expectations and did not accept that many men had the same obstacles and challenges, that is, I considered they would do better to stop blaming men and analyse the situation in order to succeed. Wendy Pye is an example of a successful woman who did this, and the feminists I met did not like me pointing this out.
    Also because I was not good at benevolent sexism (small farm background) I often failed to establish romantic relationships with women I was attracted to; instead I became a friend. It seems to me this has lead to some of my hostile sexism.
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    • Kerin Jan 19 2013, 1:23pm

      Freda Dagg makes some very good points about the validity of this survey. Like I said in my previous comment "I could only answer based on my experience" and obviously I have had some upsetting/unfair experiences with people calling themselves feminists.
      The survey would be easier to answer if instead of the scale being from Strongly Agree to Strongly disagree it was from None to All and hence more likely to be valid.
      However to answer Freda's criticisms fully, it would need more questions and the elimination of the loaded questions.
      I do agree with some of the findings in the Listener article and wish the 'Feminists' I have met had thought more about the point these findings make before blaming men for all the inequalities in our society. Western societies are changing so divisions of labour that worked well and fairly in the past are no longer necessary, or fair.
      Oh well, hopefully in my next life I will not be rejected as a mate because I don't think to walk on the road side of the footpath, don't receive a higher than the median income, and don't help the "little" woman out when she is perfectly capable of doing it herself.
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