Benevolent prejudice

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Benevolent prejudice is a superficially positive type of prejudice that is expressed in terms of apparently positive beliefs and emotional responses. Though this type of prejudice associates supposedly good things with certain groups, it still has the result of keeping the group members in inferior positions in society.[1] Benevolent prejudices can help justify any hostile prejudices a person has toward a particular group.[2]


Most research on benevolent prejudice has been done on benevolent sexism and stereotypical assumptions. This would entail positive gender roles, like men being "strong" and "providers" and women being "fragile" and "pure." Benevolent sexism, along with hostile sexism, is a sub-group of Ambivalent sexism. There is also research indicating benevolent prejudice as a part of Ageism. Benevolent beliefs can apply to any group and are as detrimental as hostile prejudices. Examples of these types of prejudices are that "all Asians are smart" and "all African Americans are athletic." While we may view being smart and athletic as positive, these things do not apply to every member of a particular group.


In an experiment run by Judd, Park, Ryan, Brauer, and Kraus (1995),[3] perceptions of African Americans held by White Americans show that they held hostile beliefs indicating that they viewed African Americans as hostile, cliquish, irresponsible, and loud. However, the same White American participants held benevolent beliefs that African Americans were athletic, musical, religious, and had strong family ties. The study was also done with African American participants who were asked to share their beliefs about White Americans. The African Americans said that White Americans were self-centered, greedy, stuffy/uptight, and sheltered from the real world. However, the same African Americans held benevolent beliefs that White Americans were intelligent, organized, independent, and financially well-off.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Whitley, Bernard E.; Kite, Mary E. (2010). The Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination. Cengage Learning. ISBN 978-0-495-81128-2. [page needed]
  2. ^ Monin, Benoît; Miller, Dale T. (2001). "Moral credentials and the expression of prejudice". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 81 (1): 33–43. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.81.1.33. PMID 11474723. 
  3. ^ a b Judd, Charles M.; Park, Bernadette; Ryan, Carey S.; Brauer, Markus; Kraus, Susan (1995). "Stereotypes and ethnocentrism: Diverging interethnic perceptions of African American and White American youth". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 69 (3): 460–81. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.69.3.460. PMID 7562391.