A new study led by Joshua Hart, assistant professor of psychology, suggests that men's insecurities about relationships and conflicted views of women as romantic partners and rivals could lead some to adopt sexist attitudes about women.
Attachment style refers to the way people relate to others in the context of intimate relationships, defined by two personality traits: attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance. Both traits reflect different kinds of relationship insecurities; people who are low in both traits are considered secure.
Hostile sexism depicts women as mean-spirited foes who aim to dominate men. Benevolent sexism regards them as objects of adoration and affection, but also fragile and needy of chivalrous treatment.
Hart's study found that anxiously attached men tend to be ambivalent sexists -- both hostile and benevolent -- whereas avoidantly attached men typically endorse hostile sexism, while rejecting benevolent sexism.
"In other words, anxious men are likely to alternate between chivalry and hostility toward female partners, acting like a knight in shining armor when she fulfills his goals and ideals about women, but like an ogre when she doesn't," Hart explained this month to the Society of Personality and Social Psychology's web-based news site, Connections. "Avoidant men are likely to show only hostility without any princely protectiveness." [emphasis mine]
People prone to attachment anxiety worry that relationship partners will reject them, abandon them, or judge them unworthy of love and care. Their thoughts, feelings, and actions tend to focus on their partner and especially on whether their partner is available and responsive. In contrast, people prone to attachment avoidance feel uncomfortable with closeness and dependency. They harbor pessimistic beliefs about others and relationships. They tend to dismiss
the importance of intimacy and interdependence in close relationships and instead assert their independence and self-reliance.
"In other words, anxious men are likely to alternate between chivalry and hostility toward female partners, acting like a knight in shining armor when she fulfills his goals and ideals about women, but like an ogre when she doesn't,"
Seems less like specifically sexist behavior and more like general, passive-aggressive training-behavior.
Wow, it sure took long for that author to catch up to the reality that's been known for a few decades! Boo hoo Joshua Hart, welcome to life on planet Earth, hope you had a good sejourn on your other planet!