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Clever girl: Benevolent sexism and cardiovascular threat

Lamarche, Veronica M and Seery, Mark D and Kondrak, Cheryl L and Saltsman, Thomas L and Streamer, Lindsey (2020) 'Clever girl: Benevolent sexism and cardiovascular threat.' Biological Psychology, 149. ISSN 0301-0511

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Abstract

Benevolent sexism is a double-edged sword that uses praise to maintain gender inequality, which consequently makes women feel less efficacious, agentic and competent. This study investigated whether benevolently sexist feedback that was supportive could result in cardiovascular responses indicative of threat (lower cardiac output/higher total peripheral resistance). Women received either supportive non-sexist or supportive yet benevolent sexist feedback from a male evaluator following practice trials on a verbal reasoning test. As expected, women receiving benevolent sexist feedback exhibited cardiovascular threat during a subsequent test, relative to women receiving non-sexist feedback. There was no support for an alternative hypothesis that benevolent sexist feedback would lead to cardiovascular responses consistent with disengaging from the task altogether (i.e., lower heart rate and ventricular contractility). These findings illustrate that the consequences of benevolent sexism can occur spontaneously, while women are engaged with a task, and when the sexist feedback is intended as supportive.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Benevolent sexism, Challenge/threat, Cardiovascular reactivity
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2019 15:56
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2019 13:20
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/25672

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