Make it Safe at Night or Teach Women to Fight? Sexism Predicts Views on Men’s and Women’s Responsibility to Reduce Men’s Violence Toward Women

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Brownhalls, J
Duffy, A
Eriksson, L
Overall, N
Sibley, CG
Radke, HRM
Barlow, FK
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The current study explores associations among sexism, gender, and support for two approaches to reduce men’s violence toward women targeting (a) men’s behavior to reduce male violence toward women and (b) women’s behavior so that they can avoid male violence. The associations between sexism and support for these two interventions were examined in 21,937 participants in the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Survey. For both women and men, hostility toward nontraditional women (hostile sexism) was associated with lower support for targeting men to reduce men’s violence against women. To a lesser degree, stronger attitudes that women who adhere to traditional feminine roles should be rewarded (benevolent sexism) were associated with greater support for targeting men to reduce men’s violence. In contrast, both hostile and benevolent sexism were positively associated with support for targeting women to avoid men’s violence. These complex and nuanced relationships could suggest that sexism perpetuates the idea that women are responsible for keeping themselves safe from men’s violence while excusing men from accountability. This possibility has implications for addressing how society can be best engaged in the campaign against men’s violence toward women.

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Sex Roles

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Brownhalls, J; Duffy, A; Eriksson, L; Overall, N; Sibley, CG; Radke, HRM; Barlow, FK, Make it Safe at Night or Teach Women to Fight? Sexism Predicts Views on Men’s and Women’s Responsibility to Reduce Men’s Violence Toward Women, Sex Roles, 2020