International Society of Political Psychology

Conference Abstracts

11H Sexism Revisited: The System-Justifying Function of Sexist Ideology and its Consequences for Sub

(Session Organizer) Jojanneke van der Toorn, Yale University; (Chair) Jojanneke van der Toorn, Yale University

Conference: ISPP 2011
Affiliation: Yale University
Research Area: Social inequality and social change

This symposium seeks to examine the system justifying function of sexist ideology and its consequences for subjective well-being. In studying the effects of system justifying motives on essentialist thought, Brescoll and Uhlmann find that activation of the goal to feel good about the system increases endorsement of biological attributions for gender differences. Calogero is interested in the contextual influences on body image and finds that system justifying forms of sexism increase state self-objectification, self-surveillance, and body shame among women but not men. Napier and Thorisdottir study the palliative function of sexist ideology and find that its consequences for well-being are contingent on the form of sexism as well as the nation’s degree of gender inequality. Van der Toorn examines the self-regulatory function of stereotyping and finds that people who are uncomfortable with homosexuality reframe gay couples to fit a heterosexist template by seeing one partner as ‘the man’ and the other as ‘the woman’. Taken as a set, these four talks present the ways in which sexist ideology is both an antecedent and a consequence of motivations to justify the status quo. They suggest complex relationships between sexism and the subjective well-being of both men and women, which contribute to the maintenance and perpetuation of gender inequality.