Title

Unfettered or doubly bound: Understanding the complexity of race and gender within exploitative mentoring relationships

Date of Completion

January 2004

Keywords

Psychology, Social

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

The present research examined the perception of mentees who adopted strategies in order to negotiate exploitative mentoring relationships while also accounting for the impact of the mentee's race and gender and the perceivers' perspective of the relationship—that is whether the mentor is viewed as beneficent or not. The strategies were investigated in three studies and included exiting the relationship and questioning the mentor's decision, both, which call attention to the mentee's needs and becoming an exceptional mentee, which directs attention to the mentor's needs. Results indicated that male mentees were viewed as more foolish and expecting special favors than were female mentees when exiting. Results revealed that those who perceived the mentor as beneficent rated the men as more competent and more appreciative of the mentor than those who did not view the mentor as beneficent. In the questioning study, those who perceived the mentor as beneficent rated mentees as more foolish, more presumptuously entitled and as complaining more compared to those who did not view the mentor as beneficent. It was also found that Black women and White men were viewed as more uppity than White women and Black men. Also, Black women and White men were promoted at significantly lower rates than White women and Black men. In the exceptional Study those who viewed the mentor as beneficent attributed the mentees' success to luck and help from the mentor. Those who viewed the mentor as beneficent also promoted the mentees less often than those who did not view the mentor as beneficent. Additionally, White women and Black men were viewed as more uppity when becoming exceptional compared to Black women and White men. Finally, male mentees were given raises more often than women mentees. The implications for these findings are discussed. ^