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Women are wonderful eect

The women are wonderful eect is the phenomenon

found in psychological research which suggests that people associate more positive attributes with the general social category of women compared to men. The phrase
was coined by Eagly & Mladinic (1994) after nding that
both men and women participants tend to assign exceptionally positive traits to women (men are also viewed
positively, though not quite as positively), with woman
participants showing a far more pronounced bias. The
authors supposed that the positive general evaluation
of women might derive from the association between
women and nurturing characteristics.

based on their reactions to categories associated with sexual relations. It revealed that among the more sexually
experienced men, the more positive their attitude was toward sex, the greater the positive implicit bias towards
Despite the consistently-found eect, women are considered less valuable than men in at least some specic instances. One study has shown that women are judged
more harshly in certain business roles, especially when
she worked in an industry incongruent with her gender
role. Female and older participants showed more prejudice against the female leader than did male and younger
participants. [2]

Empirical support
2 See also

In a review conducted by Eagly, Mladinic & Otto (1991),

signicant evidence was found to indicate that women
were evaluated positively as social category and significantly more favorably than men. In the experiment,
over 300 college students (both men and women) evaluated the social categories of men and women, relating
the traits and expectations of each gender through interviews, emotion-associations and free-response measures.
Supporting this eect, words regarded as positive, such
as happy, good, and paradise, were more readily
ascribed to women more than men. The eect was found
by another study to be strongest among women who tend
to follow traditional gender roles.[1]

Ambivalent sexism
Benevolent prejudice
Gender stereotypes
Stereotype t hypothesis

3 References

Rudman & Goodwin (2004) conducted research on

gender bias that measured gender preferences without directly asking the participants. Subjects at Purdue and
Rutgers participated in computerized tasks that measured automatic attitudes based on how quickly a person categorizes pleasant and unpleasant attributes with
each gender. For example, similar to Eagly, Mladinic
& Otto (1991), the tasks could determine if people associated pleasant words (good, vacation, and paradise)
with women, and unpleasant words (bad, slime and grief)
with men. The results, which agreed with the women
are wonderful eect, showed that while both women and
men have more favorable views of women, womens ingroup biases were four times stronger than mens.


Anderson, Kristin J., Modern Misogyny: AntiFeminism in a Post-Feminist Era : (Oxford University Press, 2014). ISBN 978-0-199328-178
Eagly, Alice H.; Steen, V. J. (1984), Gender
stereotypes stem from the distribution of women
and men into social roles, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 46 (4): 735754, doi:

Other experiments in this study found people showed automatic preference for their mothers over their fathers, or
associated the male gender with violence or aggression.
Rudman and Goodwin suggest that maternal bonding and
male intimidation may inuence gender attitudes. Another experiment found adults attitudes were measured

Eagly, Alice H.; Mladinic, Antonio; Otto, Stacey

(1991), Are women evaluated more favorably than

men? An analysis of attitudes, beliefs and emotions, Psychology of Women Quarterly 15 (2): 203
16, doi:10.1111/j.1471-6402.1991.tb00792.x
Eagly, Alice H.; Mladinic, Antonio (1994), Are
people prejudiced against women? Some answers from research on attitudes, gender stereotypes, and judgments of competence, European Review of Social Psychology 5: 135,
Garcia-Retamero, Rocio; Lpez-Zafra, Esther
(2006), Prejudice against Women in malecongenial environments: Perceptions of gender role
congruity in leadership, Sex Roles 55 (1/2): 5161,
Rudman, Laurie A.; Goodwin, Stephanie A. (2004),
Gender dierences in automatic in-group bias:
Why do women like women more than they
like men?", Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology 87 (4): 494509, doi:10.1037/00223514.87.4.494, PMID 15491274
Whitley, Bernard E.; Kite, Mary E. (2010), The
Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination, Belmont, California, USA: Wadsworth, ISBN 978-0495-81128-2


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