Second, the male partner's ideology exerted a main effect, F(1, 218) = 52.58, p <.001 (sexist = 5.85, egalitarian = 4.71).
The nature of the interaction suggested that when we presented a sexist male partner, there were no differences in perception of threat (balance = 5.82, imbalance non-traditional = 5.77, imbalance traditional = 5.98 (all p n.s) participants thought that the man would feel threat in all conditions.
Overall, then, participants thought there was more perception of threat when we presented a male partner who must take on more of the domestic work (compared to balance or traditional imbalance) supporting Hypothesis 1; then sexist (as compared to egalitarian) male partner were more likely to be viewed as threatened by a woman's promotion, supporting Hypothesis 2.
How did the balance in relationship, the male partner's ideology and the participants' hostile and benevolent sexist beliefs affect the perceived probability of male violence?
Second, there was a main effect of male partner's ideology, F(1, 218) = 18.9, p <.001 (sexist = 38.21, egalitarian = 27.61).
To follow up on the Hostile Sexism effect, we ran two regression analyses (one for the condition in which the man was described as sexist and other for when he was described as egalitarian) in which Hostile Sexism was entered as predictor of the male partner's perceived tendency to violence.
The perceived probability that the male partner would (a) feel threatened by the promotion and (b) escalate the conflict into violence, depended, in part, on whether the male participant had been characterized as sexist. We performed a mediational analysis to test the hypothesis that perceived threat to the male partner would mediate the effect of male partner's ideology on the male partner's perceived likelihood of aggression.
We also manipulated the supposed sexist ideology of the male partner (egalitarian or sexist) and expected that participants would think that the male partner would feel more threatened and would react with a higher likelihood of aggression when the male partner was described as sexist (hypothesis 2).
Participants in our study believe that, in marital conflict, the risk of the man using violence against the woman decreases if the man is not sexist. This confirms that, in people's minds, sexist ideology plays a major part in eliciting violence against women.
Perceived threat appeared to fully mediate the effects of the male partner's sexism on his perceived likelihood of violence, indicating that sexist males are judged to be likely to become violent because they are more likely to feel threatened.