People Who Accommodate Others’ Sexist Views Are Themselves Perceived to Be Sexist

Andrea C. Vial, April H. Bailey, John F. Dovidio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We extend work on how, when, and why people accommodate another's bias by drawing from attribution theories and research on evaluative transfer to investigate how observers reasoned about an actor who accommodated the sexist views of another person. As predicted, participants made stronger internal, sexist attributions for actors who accommodated (vs. rejected) another person's sexism (Study 1). Moreover, participants made stronger sexist attributions when a male (vs. female) actor accommodated a man's prejudice against women, and they responded more negatively as a result. The same actor-gender effect emerged in Study 2, except when the decision to accommodate someone else's sexism contradicted the actor's previous hiring intentions. Across studies, stronger attributions to the sexism of the actor were associated with participants’ negative reactions to the decision and proposed penalties for the actor, and partly explained why participants reacted more negatively when a male (vs. female) actor accommodated gender prejudice. To reduce gender employment discrimination, our findings suggest that organizational leaders may develop interventions that rely on social norms, raising awareness among hiring managers that, although accommodating sexism might seem to align with their job duties, others view it negatively and actively penalize individuals who engage in it. Additional online materials for this article are available on PWQ's website at http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/suppl/10.1177/03616843231221501

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPsychology of Women Quarterly
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • discrimination
  • gender
  • prejudice accommodation
  • sexist attribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology

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