Skip to comments.Chivalry Linked to Sexist Views of Women
Posted on 02/11/2003 9:27:41 AM PST by Mr. Jeeves
LOS ANGELES (Reuters Health) - Chivalry isn't all it's cracked up to be, suggests new research showing that men who hold doors for women also tend to hold sexist views about them.
"On the surface, you would say these are really polite gentlemen," said study author William Altermatt, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Michigan in Flint.
But women may not find their underlying beliefs about the opposite sex very considerate, he said.
At a recent meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Altermatt reported research showing that men who supported chivalry also generally believed that women are not as competent and powerful as men and that their place is in the home.
In one study, 201 college students (66% male) completed questionnaires about their beliefs on chivalry and attitudes toward women.
Responses revealed a clear association between chivalry and sexist beliefs, a link that is based on stereotypes, Altermatt and colleagues found.
The belief that women are less competent and powerful than men explained both chivalry --that women must be protected and provided for by men--and sexist beliefs that women are not qualified for high-power positions, the researchers concluded.
In a second study, they sought more information about chivalry and female stereotypes from an additional 185 college students (62% male). Participants evaluated three stereotypical subgroups of women and also completed a questionnaire about their views on chivalry.
The participants reporting high support for chivalry gave more favorable ratings to homemakers and less favorable ratings to career women and sexually permissive women than the low-chivalry participants did.
The researchers said these findings extend those of the first study by suggesting that chivalrous men not only endorse the stereotype that women are less competent and powerful than men but also disapprove of women who violate this stereotype--those who are high in competence and power or low in virtue.
While women shared some of the same views as men, there were differences. "Men were more favorable to chivalry than women and they also had more stereotypes of women," Altermatt said.
He describes chivalry as a type of "benevolent sexism." While chivalry may seem nice, he explained, the basis for it nonetheless is that women are in need of help by men.
"It makes men look great, but it's also got this baggage," Altermatt said. "It doesn't always make sense."
Exactly. A conclusion in search of confirming evidence.
Welcome to my personal page. Here you will find assorted quotes, images, and links to other websites that I find interesting. I'm always interested in a good conversation, so feel free to email me with your reaction to anything on this page.
One theme you will see throughout this page is the mind-body problem, the question of how the experiencing mind (consciousness) and the physical body are related. I find this question endlessly fascinating, both philosophically and psychologically. It is a goal of mine to someday develop a course on consciousness and the mind-body problem.
LOL! To be honest, I haven't either - even here in San Francisco, the "Heart of Darkness". But if I was 5'4" and 300 pounds with warts all over my face, I expect I would have.
We can therefore derive a simple rule: A handsome man who behaves chivalrously toward a woman is charming, confident and sexy; an ugly man who behaves chivalrously toward a woman is a creepy, vulgar sexist.
LOL! I wonder how THAT fits into the good perfesser's theories?
Being a parent, I've found a real sign of the times in cartoon programming. Nowadays the decision makers, doers, problem solvers and rescuers are always the girl characters. The male characters, whether boys or grown men, are portrayed as tongue-tied, snivelling cowards at best and scheming, incompetent louts at worst.
Hollywood seems to think, "If we bombard the public with enough images of females doing traditionally male things, we can CHANGE HUMAN NATURE!"
There is an huge homosexual presence in the creative arts, and cartooning and cartoon script writing are no exception. It would be fascinating to explore the correlation between one's attitude towards traditional sex roles, particularly one's own, and one's sexual orientation. Perhaps some intrepid professor of psychology would want to conduct a study on the subject. Taxpayer-subsidized, of course.
And yes, I try to do the same services for those in need, and give up my seat to the elderly, pregnant, encumbered, and teach my children the same. Grace does not always come naturally...
My only dilemma: trying to figure out when an elderly gentleman would rather hold the door, or have it held...
Get back with me in 20 years and I'll let you know.
Among reasonable people there is. The people who write and believe this tripe are beyond all hope.
Who the hell is this Altermatt guy, anyway?
My talented artistic daughter is going to college next fall and will major in Fine Arts. She went to the college of her choice last week and spent the night and visited classes in a program set up for students who have been accepted. Her host--and her nest of friends--were lesbians. My daughter who attends a Christian HS had never been exposed to this and had one clown making an obvious play for her. We are not shocked exactly, but certainly disgusted. We might make arragenments for her to live off-campus, as we have learned that this college is known to be a den of lesbians.
I will chase down the first feminazi who gripes about it, too. THEY will get an earful, to say the very least!
Hmmmm. In light of that, the all-out attack on the whole concept of the nuclear family may be in retaliation for the ridicule and teasing by the other kids in the schoolyard lo those many years ago.
I wasn't that big a sports fan as a kid, but I don't wish to nuke the Super Bowl as a result!
Funny you should write that. I had a friend in grammar school who was picked on A LOT. He contacted me via e-mail a few years ago, after decades of lost contact. He waited for months to share with me his "secret", which I had already guessed by his West Hollywood address. Poor guy was dying of cancer, and was reconnecting with people from his past before he passed away. May God rest his soul.