Lawrence University Psychologist Examines Role of Ambivalent Attitudes in Gender Inequality

The role benevolent and hostile attitudes play in perpetuating gender stereotypes will be the focus of a Lawrence University Science Hall Colloquium Thursday, March 10.

Peter Glick, professor of psychology at Lawrence, presents “Bad but Bold vs. Wonderful but Weak! Ambivalent Attitudes Towards Both Sexes Reinforce Gender Inequality” at 4:15 p.m. in Science Hall, Room 202. The event is free and open to the public.

In the address, Glick will share the findings of a 16-nation study he helped conduct that examined traditional attitudes towards men and women and how those attitudes related to gender inequality. He will discuss how traditional hostile qualities often associated with men, such as arrogance and hyper-competitiveness, can still reinforce the idea that men are likely to remain “in charge.” Conversely, he also will look at how traditionally benevolent attitudes toward women that tend to characterize them in a positive manner, such as pure and moral, reinforce the notion that women are the “weaker sex” in need of men’s protection.

As a social psychologist, Glick has conducted extensive research on both the subtle and the overt ways in which prejudices and stereotypes foster social inequality. He and his research associate, Susan Fiske of Princeton University, developed the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory, which has been administered to more than 30,000 people in 30 countries.

In 2004, Glick was accorded Fellow status by both the American Psychological Society and the American Psychological Association, the world’s largest scientific and professional organization, for his “outstanding contributions in the field of psychology.”

A member of the Lawrence faculty since 1985, Glick earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology at Oberlin College and his Ph.D. in social psychology at the University of Minnesota.