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I have always thought of myself as a rational, logically sound and self-conscious person. As a child, I was raised to think critically and logically. I always try to rid my mind and emotions of biases and prejudices. As much as possible I refuse to harbor ill feelings or hostile attitude against other individuals. However, I was surprised to find out after taking the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory on the “Understanding Prejudice” website that my mind is not free from biases and prejudices after all.
The result of the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory is that my Hostile Sexism Score is .91 while by Benevolent Sexism Score is 2.55. In terms of Hostile Sexism, comparing myself to other women in the United States, my score is lowest compared to the score of an average Female which is 3.7 and the average Male which is 4.2. In terms of Benevolent Sexism, my score which is 4.5 is highest compared to the score of the average Female which his 3.8 and average Male which is 4.2.
Comparing myself to the people in Italy, in terms of Hostile Sexism, my score which is 3 is lowest compared to the score of an average Female which is 4 and the score of an average Male which is 5. In terms of Benevolent Sexism, my score which is 4.5 is highest compared 4.2 for an average Male and Female in the same country.
Comparing myself to the people in South Africa, in terms of Hostile Sexism, my score of 3 is lowest compared to the score of an average Female which is 4.5 and the score of the average Male which is 5.5. In terms of Benevolent Sexism, my score which is 4.5 is lowest compared to the 5.5 for an average Female and 5 for an average Male.
Comparing myself to the people in Japan, in terms of Hostile Sexism, my score which is 3 is lowest compared to the 4.2 of an average Female and 4.4 of an Average Male. In terms of Benevolent Sexism, my score which is 4.5 is highest compared to the 4.2 of the average Female and the 4.4 which is the average Male.
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The Ambivalent Sexism Inventory on the “Understanding Prejudice” website tells me that I do not have animosity or ill-feelings towards other women who pursue their own careers. I also have a strong aversion towards sexual harassment and discrimination. This is understandable because as a woman, I feel that women are justified from their desire to prove themselves to other people. They would like to let others know that just like men they do have the skills to compete in a highly competitive business environment. As a result, I do have great respect for women who pursue their own dreams and ambitions regardless whether other people say that they will not succeed because these fields are dominated by men
On the other hand, the study however tells me that though I have a strong personality, at the sub-conscious level, I have a tendency to prefer the traditional roles society imposed upon women. I have a high regard for a woman’s chastity and that I still do believe that women should be given preferential attention rather than men in times of emergencies by being rescued first. I also believe in chivalry wherein men should give women their utmost respect by opening the doors for them or by not allowing women to walk on the danger side of the street. It can therefore be said that at the sub-conscious level, I still want the society to see women in the same way that they did decades ago.
One of the insights I learned from this experience is that bias and prejudice towards women do not only pertain to having negative attitude toward women who desire to pursue their careers in the corporate world. Before I performed this test, my idea was that people who dislike women pursuing a career is a sexist. I thought that some women are manipulative are sexists. I thought that when women became victims of sexual harassment in the workplace that is because of their inappropriate behavior.
I realized after performing this inventory that even people who think that women should be pampered with and protected may also be harboring their own bias and prejudice against women. It is possible that the reason why some people may think that women should be protected and pampered with is because they are fragile, weak and inadequate beings who cannot live without men. The truth is that this is still sexism. When people do not think that men and women should be treated equally there is bias and prejudice.
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