Date of Conferral







Silvia Bigatti


Romantic relationship satisfaction relates to better overall health, and identifying factors that affect relationship satisfaction could lead to better understanding of romantic relationships. This study examined the correlation between benevolent sexism, a subtle form of sexism resembling chivalry and relationship satisfaction; gender, age, ethnicity, religious beliefs, education, and length of time were also considered as moderators. The ambivalent sexism theory, which posits that sexism is ambivalent and ranges from hostile to benevolent sexism was the theoretical framework guiding this study. Previous research indicated benevolent sexism may predict relationship satisfaction. However, there remained an important gap in the literature; the demographic variables above had not been considered as moderators in those analyses. Thus, the purpose of this non-experimental study using data collected from a U.S. sample of adults who had been in romantic relationships for at least 1 year was to determine if such links existed. Correlation and regression analyses revealed that benevolent sexism, measured by the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory did not predict relationship satisfaction, measured by the Relationship Assessment Scale, and none of the demographic variables served as moderators. Results were trending toward significance though, suggesting that benevolent sexism might influence women's relationship satisfaction. Further research using longitudinal, mixed-method studies of dyads is recommended to gain a clearer understanding of this phenomenon. Findings would make important contributions to existing literature and enhance social change by providing professionals and individuals with awareness of how benevolent sexist attitudes may affect relationship satisfaction.