Sam Blanchard — Mail Online July 2, 2018
Women are more attracted to men who are sexist because they think they are more willing to protect them, provide for them and commit to a relationship, scientists say.
Men who are considered to be sexist in a well-meaning way – for example if they are chivalrous or think women need a man to protect them – may be more attractive.
Even though women find these men patronising and can feel undermined by them, they are more likely to want to couple up with them than with men who don’t give them special treatment.
Researchers say women may be hard-wired to think the benefits of being with a kind but sexist man outweighs the downsides.
The scientists maintain that, despite romantic and flattering elements of the relationship, even well-meaning sexism reinforces the idea women are inferior.
And even women who consider themselves strong feminists showed the same preferences in the study by British and US researchers.
Scientists from the University of Kent and Iowa State University carried out five tests to explore the theory that women are more attracted to what they call ‘benevolent sexists’.
Benevolent means well-meaning or kind, and experts define the sexism as men who, for example, think women are more delicate or should be cherished or looked after by a man.
This is different to hostile sexism in which women are degraded, such as saying a woman’s place is in the kitchen.
Sexist attitudes were the norm for decades, particularly after the Second World War, and saw men as breadwinners and women as homemakers.
But this has shifted in recent years as gender attitudes change, more women focus on their careers, and couples increasingly share their parenting duties.
However, this study suggests heterosexual women’s preferences for partners may not be moving on as quickly.
Women know sexism is bad but are still attracted to sexist men
The researchers’ tests found women are more attracted to men who have benevolent sexist attitudes or actions than they are to men who treat them as equals or don’t give them special treatment.
The scientists, Pelin Gul and Tom Kupfer say: ‘Women find benevolent sexist [BS] men attractive, not because they are ignorant of the harmful effects, but despite being aware of them.