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Benevolent sexism, perceived health risks, and the inclination to restrict pregnant women’s freedoms

By Robbie M. Sutton, Karen Douglas and L.M. McClellan

Abstract

The present study investigated the role of sexist ideology in perceptions of health risks during pregnancy and willingness to intervene on pregnant women’s behavior. Initially, 160 female psychology undergraduates at a university in the South East of England completed the\ud Ambivalent Sexism Inventory (Glick & Fiske, 1996). Two months later, in an apparently unrelated study, they rated the safety of 45 behaviours during pregnancy (e.g., drinking\ud alcohol, exercising, drinking tap water, and oral sex), and indicated their willingness to restrict pregnant women’s choices (e.g., by refusing to serve soft cheese or alcohol). As predicted, benevolent (but not hostile) sexism was related to willingness to restrict pregnant women’s choices. This effect was partially mediated by the perceived danger attributed to behaviours

Topics: HQ, RG, BF
Publisher: Spriner/Plenum Publishers
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:kar.kent.ac.uk:26131

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