Intensive mothering ideology, which requires mothers’ full dedication to their children, is the dominant mothering culture worldwide. Under this ideology, mothers are responsible for children’s education, and seek educational information for the betterment of their children’s future. Previous studies found that exposure to this educational information is associated with mothers’ social comparison, competition, and consumption. This paper thus considered comparison, competition, and consumption as the 3Cs of contemporary motherhood, and explored these factors in a neoliberal educational context. Specifically, this paper examined how mothers’ educational information acquisition leads to the 3Cs of contemporary motherhood regarding children’s academic performance. Two-wave data were collected from mothers of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders in the United States and Singapore. While the Asian educational environment is more competitive, US mothering culture also emphasizes mothers’ commitment to education, and this paper tested whether the model is invariant across the two groups. Findings from multigroup modeling analyses revealed similar models for both groups. Mothers’ exposure to educational information positively predicted social comparison. However, comparison of abilities was positively associated with competition, and comparison of opinions was negatively associated with competition, consistent with social comparison theory. Competition then positively predicted consumption intention. These results demonstrate quantitatively how responsibilization of mothers regarding children’s education under intensive mothering ideology influences mothers’ consumption intentions around education investment. The invariance of the model across the two groups suggests that motherhood competition, despite cultural differences, operates similarly in both countries.
In 2015, Bay-Cheng proposed that sexual stereotypes of young women had evolved into four types: sexually abstinent and in-control Virgins; sexually experienced and in-control Agents; sexually experienced and out-of-control Sluts; and sexually abstinent and out-of-control Losers. Bay-Cheng also speculated that perceptions of the four types would align with the Stereotype Content Model’s (Fiske et al., 2002) dimensions of competence-incompetence and warmth-coolness. We tested this through a fine-grained visual content analysis of 833 images selected by 175 participants (aged 19–64) to represent the four sexual types. We coded each image’s composition (e.g., appearance, pose, attire, setting, race) for indicators of the depicted woman’s competence, incompetence, warmth, and coolness. Analyses indicated that images representing both Virgins and Agents included more visual markers of competence and fewer markers of incompetence than Sluts and Losers; however, Agents were distinct from Virgins in having significantly more markers of coolness. Images of Sluts had more visual markers of coolness than Virgins and Losers, but significantly fewer markers of warmth than Virgins and Agents. Images of Losers were distinct in displaying the least competence and the most incompetence compared to the other sexual types. In a separate analysis of race, Losers were also disproportionately represented by Asian Pacific Islander Desi American women whereas Black women and women of mixed or ambiguous race were disproportionately selected as Agents. Findings indicate that although sanctions against sexually active young women (i.e., Agents and Sluts) may be receding, young women who are involuntarily abstinent may be vulnerable to ridicule.
Educating boys about consent in schools in England is required as part of the now-statutory Relationships, Sex, and Health Education curriculum and, moreover, is considered important for addressing sexual violence, abuse, and harassment among young people. The present paper draws on qualitative data collected in three schools in southeast England to explore how boys are being taught about consent and how they relate to and interpret educational messages about consent in terms of their sociosexual subjectivities and peer sexual cultures. Data was collected during May–June 2022 through classroom observations, focus groups with boys, and discussions with teachers in a co-educational academy, a boys’ academy, and a boys’ independent school, all in southeast England. The data suggests that while typical consent education messages may rationalise or provide a ‘road map’ for consent, the boys felt uncertain and anxious about navigating the perceived, often anticipated, realities of youth sexual culture. The framing of sexual activity as only consensual, and thus legitimate, if there is a clear and direct yes, conflicted with these realities. As supposed initiators of sex, as masculine heterosexual subjects, the boys felt a responsibility for obtaining consent yet seemed to lack confidence regarding the socio-affective skills required for doing so. The paper calls for an integrated model of consent education that addresses knowledge, skills (including emotional literacy), and the normative contextual contingencies that constrain the operation of free choice.
Violence against women, including intimate partner violence (IPV) and stalking, is a serious issue in Korea. Studies have found that most stalking perpetrators are current or former intimate partners, and there is a significant association between stalking behaviors and IPV. Using data from the Violence Against Women, Focused on Intimate Partner Violence (VAW-IPV) study, collected by the Korean Institute of Criminology (KIC), this study aims to identify patterns of IPV perpetration and examine how those patterns predict post-breakup stalking among 847 Korean men who were in a romantic relationship, but are not currently in that relationship. In addition, as various factors might predict different IPV patterns, this study examines these nuanced patterns. We identified three distinct IPV perpetration patterns among Korean men, and found that those patterns predict post-breakup stalking differently. We also found that there were distinct factors such as self-control and child abuse history that differentiated each subgroup. Based on the findings of this study, we suggest policy implications, including developing educational programs and risk assessment tools that can prevent further perpetration of IPV and stalking behaviors among Korean men.
Gender stereotypes are harmful for girls’ enrollment and performance in science and mathematics. So far, less is known about children’s and adolescents’ stereotypes regarding technology and engineering. In the current study, participants’ (N = 1,206, girls n = 623; 5–17-years-old, M = 8.63, SD = 2.81) gender stereotypes for each of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) domains were assessed along with the relation between these stereotypes and a peer selection task in a STEM context. Participants reported beliefs that boys are usually more skilled than are girls in the domains of engineering and technology; however, participants did not report gender differences in ability/performance in science and mathematics. Responses to the stereotype measures in favor of one’s in-group were greater for younger participants than older participants for both boys and girls. Perceptions that boys are usually better than girls at science were related to a greater likelihood of selecting a boy for help with a science question. These findings document the importance of domain specificity, even within STEM, in attempts to measure and challenge gender stereotypes in childhood and adolescence.
Although prior studies demonstrate that children view gender non-conforming peers less positively than gender conforming peers, little is known about how or whether children use gender non-conformity as the basis for other types of social evaluations. The current study presented 4- and 5-year-olds (n = 91) and 6–8-year-olds (n = 99) with gender conforming (GC) and gender non-conforming (GNC) dolls and asked them to make several evaluations including liking, similarity, affiliation, perceived popularity, academic competence, rule knowledge, and resource allocation. We also investigated whether evaluations varied by the type of gender non-conformity, age and gender of participants, gender of targets, participants were gender-typed, exposure to GNC people. On almost every measure, children were more negative towards GNC than GC targets (i.e., a “horn effect”), especially toward GNC boy targets. Younger children and older boys were more negative towards GNC than GC targets of their own gender, whereas older girls were generally more equitable in their evaluations. Children who were less gender-typed were more flexible regarding gender norm violations, but neither exposure to GNC people nor manifestation of the targets’ non-conformity affected evaluations. Together our results provide a broader understanding of how children evaluate their GNC peers, which is a useful step towards developing more positive and inclusive social environments for these children.
We explored the relationship between parenting practices and the experience of subjective authenticity in the parenting role. Based on work showing that authenticity responds to violations of broad social expectations, we predicted that mothers would feel more authentic than fathers. We also predicted, however, that parenting practices that conflicted with broad gender norms would differentially predict authenticity for mothers and fathers. We tested this prediction in a single study of U.S. parents recruited from an internet research panel service (N = 529). Parents completed online measures of authenticity and parenting practices on three separate occasions. We assessed the within-person association between parenting practices and parent-role authenticity. Authoritarian parenting practices negatively predicted parent-role authenticity for mothers, whereas permissive practices negatively predicted parent-role authenticity for fathers. Authoritative practices positively predicted authenticity regardless of parent gender, and, overall, women felt more authentic in the parenting role than men. These findings contribute to emerging theoretical perspectives on authenticity and gender role congruence and highlight how different parenting practices relate to the well-being of mothers and fathers.
This study used an online survey in the U.S. to examine Pre-K, 2nd, and 5th grade (N = 539) teachers’ (81% white; 94% female) gendered classroom practices (i.e., promotion of gender salience, gender segregation, gender integration) as well as the effects of gender-role attitudes on these practices. The promotion of gender salience entailed practices such as the use of gender labels and setting up competitions between boys and girls. The promotion of gender segregation entailed practices facilitating same-gender student interactions whereas the promotion of gender integration entailed practices facilitating mixed-gender interactions. Teachers reported making gender salient a few times a month, frequently promoting gender integration, and infrequently promoting gender segregation. Preschool teachers promoted gender salience and gender segregation less often than elementary school teachers. Teachers were more likely to assign students to mixed-sex groups than to same-sex groups for the following reasons: students need experience with other-sex (vs. same-sex) students; it is an efficient and easy way to group students; and, it cuts down on discipline problems. On average, teachers held egalitarian gender-role attitudes. Holding more traditional gender-role attitudes was positively associated with the promotion of gender salience and gender segregation; however, there was no relation between gender-role attitudes and the promotion of gender integration. These findings have implications for classroom practices and teacher professional development, and for the promotion of gender diverse experiences in the classroom.
Navigating a career while raising a family can be challenging, especially for women in academia. In this study, we examine the ways in which professional life interruptions due to child caregiving (e.g., opportunities not offered, professional travel curtailed) affect pre- and post-tenure faculty members’ career satisfaction and retention. We also examine whether sharing caregiving responsibilities with a partner affected faculty members’ (particularly women’s) career outcomes. In a sample of 753 tenure track faculty parents employed at a large research-intensive university, results showed that as the number of professional life interruptions due to caregiving increased, faculty members experienced less career satisfaction and greater desire to leave their job. Pre-tenure women’s, but not pre-tenure men’s, career satisfaction and intention to stay were negatively affected when they experienced at least one professional life interference. Pre-tenure men’s desire to stay in their job and career satisfaction remained high, regardless of the number of professional life interferences they experienced. Sharing parenting responsibilities with a partner did not buffer the demands of caregiving on pre-tenure women’s career outcomes. Our work highlights the need to consider the varied ways in which caregiving affects faculty members’ careers, beyond markers such as publications, and how institutions can support early career stage women with family-friendly practices.
Attitudes towards abortion play a significant historical and contemporary role in U.S. politics. Research has documented the influence of racist and sexist attitudes in Americans’ political opinions, yet the role of these attitudes has largely been absent in psychological research about abortion. We hypothesized that racism and sexism, originating from historically-rooted stereotypes about Black women’s sexuality and motherhood, would be related to abortion attitudes. In Study 1, we recruited three samples—Black (n = 401), Latinx (n = 316), and White (n = 343) individuals diverse in age, gender, and abortion identity—to complete an online survey assessing abortion attitudes, symbolic racism, modern sexism, and religiosity. Results were consistent with hypotheses: antipathy and resistance to the equality of African Americans (racism) or women (sexism) related to individuals’ negative abortion attitudes, above and beyond religiosity, in all three samples. In Study 2, we partially replicated these findings using data from the 2012 American National Election Studies (ANES). Moreover, we extended Study 1’s findings by demonstrating that racism and/or sexism predicted opposition to abortion while controlling for political ideology among White (n = 2,344) and Black (n = 500) individuals but not Latinx individuals (n = 318). These studies demonstrated that exclusionary ideologies (i.e., racist and sexist attitudes) relate to individuals’ abortion attitudes. These findings may assist researchers and policy makers with interpreting a more comprehensive picture of the racist and sexist attitudes that individuals possibly draw upon when responding to questions about abortion, including voting, answering polls, or supporting political candidates.
Representations of peri/menopause are influential in relation to how peri/menopause is understood and how peri/menopausal women are perceived, both of which have important implications for health and wellbeing. In this paper, we report results from a story completion study with 102 undergraduate psychology students. Participants were invited to write a response to a fictional scenario about a peri/menopausal woman. Thematic analysis was used to construct two themes. In the first theme, Women’s bodies out of control, we report how students represented peri/menopausal women’s bodies as unpredictable and uncontrollable. In the second theme, Doctors as empathetic experts: A (biomedical) problem in need of (medical) intervention, we demonstrate how participants wrote stories that portrayed peri/menopause as a medical problem to be easily and effectively resolved by a doctor. These doctors were consistently characterized as empathetic and as experts of peri/menopause. We consider the extent to which these fictional stories might (or might not) map onto women’s lived experiences of peri/menopause by drawing on extant literature. Our results contribute to understandings of how young people represent peri/menopause and peri/menopausal women. These results have implications for educators in ensuring that menopause is included in their curricula, and for health professionals in their practice.
In the current study, we investigated potential direct and indirect effects of exposure to sexual violence on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity and depression, and anti-sexual activism and feminist identification as moderators of these effects, among a sample of 440 United States women who had experienced sexual assault in adulthood. We found that sexual violence exposure was both directly and indirectly related to PTSD symptom severity via less trauma coping self-efficacy, greater behavioral and characterological self-blame, and more shame. Sexual violence exposure was also indirectly related to depression via the same explanatory variables, except for behavioral self-blame. Contrary to our hypotheses, results indicated that involvement in anti-sexual activism and feminist identification did not buffer the direct and indirect links between exposure to sexual violence and PTSD symptom severity and depression. However, we found that involvement in anti-sexual assault activism was associated with greater coping self-efficacy and higher depression, and feminist identification was associated with less self-blame and shame. Results from this study may inform clinical interventions for survivors of sexual violence and improve overall care for this population.
An assumption of sleep and self-regulation theories is that sleep quality impacts mood which, in turn, prompts individuals to revise their work-related goals. We propose that gender differences in emotion, emotional regulation, and career aspirations layer complexity onto these basic assumptions. In the current work, we investigate the effect of daily sleep quality – via positive affect – on intentions to pursue more status and responsibility at work (i.e., aspirations), as a function of participant gender. We test our model using experience sampling methodology, surveying 135 full-time employees residing in the United States twice daily across two consecutive work weeks (10 workdays), for a total of 2,272 observations. We find that among women, but not men, sleep quality is positively related to positive affect which, in turn, relates to greater daily intentions to pursue more status and responsibility at work. We discuss the implications of our work for research and practice.
Alcohol intoxication is a prevalent feature of university life and campus sexual assault cases. While previous research has examined how students perceive obvious cases of assault, less is known about how students evaluate more ambiguous sexual scenarios—such as those including two intoxicated individuals. In three survey experiments with college students (N = 990), we examined how manipulating the intoxication (sober vs. drunk) of a man accused of assault (the respondent) influenced perceptions of a hook-up scenario involving an intoxicated woman. Although university policies indicate that respondent intoxication should not influence evaluations of these scenarios, we hypothesized that students would be influenced by cues of respondent intoxication when making judgments of the hook-up and the individuals involved. Students reported that the hook-up was a sexual assault more often when the respondent was sober compared to when he was drunk, and they found sober respondents more responsible for the encounter than drunk respondents. Although effect sizes fluctuated across studies, an internal meta-analysis found evidence of significant (but modest) aggregate effects. Furthermore, perceptions of the respondent’s agency mediated the effects of intoxication on perceptions of respondent responsibility (Studies 2 & 3). We also manipulated whether the respondent should have reasonably known the complainant was drunk (Studies 1 & 2) and whether the complainant or the complainant’s friend reported the incident (Study 3), but these manipulations had little effect on students’ perceptions of the vignettes. We discuss how our findings can guide future research and consider implications of our results for university stakeholders.
Studies on how physical gender schemas develop in children have traditionally utilized forced-choice and close-ended tasks, finding that the ability to make gender-related distinctions develops in the first years of a child’s life. To reduce demand characteristics that reinforce gender binaries in children’s models of gender, we relied on open-ended discourse analysis to study children’s physical gender schemas. We focused on whether children’s ability to ask questions that distinguish gender groups was greater in older than younger children. Participants were 44 3–4-year-olds, 35 5–6-year-olds, and 23 7–8-year-old children in the U.K. who were led through a guessing game to elicit gender-related beliefs and compare their beliefs about gender to their beliefs about other entities such as living things. When asking questions to distinguish gender binary groups, older children judging gendered individuals were more likely to ask questions that stereotypically distinguished the gender groups than younger children. Older children were also more likely to focus on individuals’ biological properties, clothing, and hair length than were younger children. Thus, the development of a child’s understanding of physical gender schemas gender is discrete, developing gradually at least until the age of 8.
Three experiments (two pre-registered) tested whether gender collective narcissism (i.e., a belief that one’s gender ingroup’s exceptionality is not sufficiently recognized by others) predicts parochial vicarious ostracism (i.e., feeling ostracized and distressed while recognizing the gender ingroup’s exclusion, but not when recognizing the exclusion of the gender outgroup). In all studies (overall N = 1480), gender collective narcissism was positively associated with distress among women who witnessed the exclusion of women, but not among men who witnessed the exclusion of women. In Study 3, gender collective narcissism was positively associated with distress among men who witnessed the exclusion of men, but not among women who witnessed the exclusion of men. These findings help explain why men do not universally feel distressed by the discrimination of women and why some women may mobilize to challenge gender discrimination.
Research has documented how maternal employment influences daughters’ participation in paid employment. However, we know far less about how maternal employment during daughters’ adolescence relates to the daughters’ subsequent employment stability. Analyzing data from three waves (2006, 2012, and 2018) of the Egypt Labor Market Panel Survey (N = 3,345) using structural equation models, this study compares the employment stability of women with and without working mothers during adolescence and examines how the influence of maternal employment on daughters’ employment stability varies with employment sector. Furthermore, a decomposition method is applied to determine the extent to which daughters’ education mediates the association between maternal employment and their employment stability. The results show that mothers’ employment is positively associated with their adult daughters’ employment stability. This intergenerational association is sector specific: mothers’ employment in a given sector only bolsters their daughters’ employment stability in the same sector. The daughter’s education mediates only a small portion of the intergenerational association in the public sector. The findings highlight the important role of Egypt’s institutional settings in configuring the intergenerational transmission of employment stability among women, and suggest that policies that support working mothers have the potential to bolster their daughters’ long-term labor market attachment.
The sex-role mediation hypothesis suggests that a masculine self-concept promotes male-typed cognition, including spatial skills. Support for the hypothesis is mixed, limited by small samples and the spatial skills examined, with few studies exploring the role of gendered activities, experiences, and interests (e.g., Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics [STEM] college majors). Therefore, in a sample of 339 undergraduate students, a series of regression analyses with bootstrapped-based estimation of indirect effects was used to determine whether self-perceived masculinity was related to three-dimensional (3D) mental rotations, geographical knowledge, identifying the true horizontal, and object location memory via major ‘STEM-ness.’ Spatial skills and masculinity were consistently positively related, except for object location memory, which is the only spatial skill examined where women, on average, outperform men. Moreover, the link between some spatial skills (3D mental rotations, identifying the true horizontal) and masculinity partially occurred via major STEM-ness. Findings are novel in revealing associations among masculinity, spatial skills, and STEM interests, and are somewhat consistent with the sex-role mediation hypothesis. They also encourage future longitudinal studies to examine whether masculinity predicts or is predicted by spatial skills, and they may have downstream implications for reducing gender disparities in STEM.
Gender norms are increasingly recognized as important modifiers of health. Despite growing awareness of how gender norms affect health behavior, current gender norms scales are often missing two important theoretical components: differentiating between descriptive and injunctive norms and adding a referent group. We used a mixed-methods approach to develop and validate a novel gender norms scale that includes both theoretical components. Based on qualitative data, the theory of normative social behavior, and the theory of gender and power, we generated a pool of 28 items. We included the items in a baseline questionnaire among 3,110 women in Odisha, India as part of a cluster randomized controlled trial. We then ran exploratory factor analysis which resulted in 18 items. Using a second wave of data with the same sample, we evaluated psychometric properties using confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling. The analysis resulted in two subscales with nine items each, “descriptive gender norms” and “injunctive gender norms.” Both subscales represent high internal validity with Cronbach’s alpha values of 0.81 and 0.84 and the combined scale has an alpha of 0.87. The G-NORM, gender norms scale, improves on existing measures by providing distinct descriptive and injunctive norms subscales and moving beyond individual attitudes by assessing women’s perceptions of community-level gender norms.
Academic gender stereotypes contribute to observed gender differences in educational enrollment and attainment. Investigating parents’ stereotypes among 907 families in China, this study used exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses to uncover four latent factors: boys-Math, boys-Sciences, girls-Chinese, and girls-Liberal Arts stereotypes. The former two depicted boys as more gifted, enthusiastic, and higher-achieving learners in Math and Sciences, and the latter two favored girls in Chinese and Liberal Arts. This four-factor structure was invariant across parents with sons and daughters after accounting for the nonindependence of parents within families. The boys-Math and boys-Sciences stereotypes were found to be stronger than the other two stereotypes. Further analyses revealed nuances concerning the boys-Math stereotype: it was more pronounced among mothers than fathers in families with daughters, fathers with sons than daughters, and girls’ mothers without college degrees than those with degrees. Within the same family, mothers more commonly held stereotype-consistent perceptions concerning Math and Chinese than fathers, but there was a general agreement over gendered perceptions of all four achievement domains regardless of child gender. The findings highlight the need for family-based awareness-raising programs targeting parents’ gender stereotypes to create gender-fair and gender-inclusive learning environments.
The terms single and singlehood conflate marital (e.g. divorced, widowed, and never married) and relationship (e.g. partnered or not) statuses, complicating researchers’ understandings of their unique impact on women’s lives. Despite qualitative research demonstrating unmarried and unpartnered statuses have distinct implications for women’s sexual socialization, little quantitative research has explored these differences. To address this gap, the current project surveyed 506 unmarried Black women (Mage = 33.02) to explore how common singlehood experiences (dating, motherhood, and intimate partner violence [IPV]) moderated associations between respondents’ media use (television, social media, movies, and magazines) and relationship beliefs. This project focused on Black women because of their high rates of unmarried status and the pervasiveness of media stereotypes of their singlehood. Hierarchical linear regressions and the PROCESS model were used to test two-way interactions of media and singlehood experiences. Ecological systems and cultivation theories guided analyses. Across the dependent variables, media types were differentially associated with measures of relationship beliefs and these associations were differentially moderated by singlehood experiences. Weekly television was the most consistent predictor of relationship beliefs and experience with IPV was the most consistent moderator of associations. Women without partners, children, or experiences of IPV exhibited significant associations between media and relationship beliefs while their more experienced peers did not, suggesting singlehood experiences and media work together to shape unmarried Black women’s sexual socialization, though more work is needed to determine how. Results illuminated key differences between groups of unmarried Black women, complicating current understandings of single status and challenging how singlehood is conceptualized in sexual socialization research.
Are men and women more similar or different in their interests in careers? This question has propelled decades of research into the association between gender and vocational interests. However, our understanding of this question in an international context remains limited. In this study, we examined gender differences in vocational interests across national and cultural contexts by exploring whether national cultural dimensions would be associated with gender differences in the structure and mean levels of vocational interests in people/things, ideas/data, and prestige. Our findings support similarity in the structure of vocational interests for men and women across 42 countries based on two major models on interests. General trends of gender differences in interests emerge such that in comparison to men, women tend to report a large preference for working with people (versus things; d = 1.04), and smaller preferences for working with ideas (versus data; d = 0.29) and with prestige (d = 0.18). National cultural dimensions appear to moderate gender differences in interests beyond the influences of national gender inequality. Specifically, gender differences in interests in people (versus things) tend to be larger in countries of higher uncertainty avoidance and higher indulgence whereas gender differences in ideas (versus data) tend to be larger in countries of higher indulgence, uncertainty avoidance, and lower power distance. This study highlights how a better conceptualization of the influences of culture can inform vocational psychologists, gender studies researchers, and career counselors’ work with men and women in understanding their vocational interests.
Minority stress remains pervasive in various aspects of life among sexual minorities. Driven by the awareness of social injustice, some sexual minority individuals may undertake collective action to counteract discrimination, but this does not apply to all members of sexual minorities. The present study used a prospective, longitudinal research design to examine how different dimensions of minority stress (i.e., perceived discrimination and internalized stigma) interact to affect group identification and collective action. A total of 628 sexual minority individuals in Hong Kong were involved in the study. The results showed that prior discriminatory experiences were positively associated with collective action at follow-up through increased levels of group identification and commitment to social justice. The moderating effect of internalized stigma was found in which perceived discrimination was not significantly related to group identification and collective action among those with high levels of internalized stigma. The study extends the literature on the rejection-identification model by understanding collective action as a form of group-level coping in the face of discrimination. It highlights the importance of fostering group identification, strengthening collective action, and mitigating internalized stigma among sexual minorities in psychological practice.
This pre-registered study examined the prevalence and correlates of sexual aggression in a sample of 530 Iranians (322 women, 208 men) with a behaviorally specific questionnaire distinguishing between different coercive strategies, victim-perpetrator relationships, and sexual acts. Significantly more women (63.0%) than men (51.0%) experienced at least one incident of sexual aggression victimization since the age of 15 years, and significantly more men (37.0%) than women (13.4%) reported at least one incident of sexual aggression perpetration. In women and men, the experience of child sexual abuse predicted sexual victimization and sexual aggression perpetration after the age of 15 years, both directly and indirectly through higher engagement in risky sexual behavior. Greater endorsement of hostile masculinity among men explained additional variance in the prediction of sexual aggression perpetration. This research is a first step towards documenting and explaining high rates of sexual aggression victimization and perpetration among Iranian women and men, providing important information for sex education as well for the prevention of sexual aggression. However, to achieve these goals, we highlight the need for systematic actions in all educational, social, and legal sectors of Iranian society.
We present an integrated interdisciplinary review of people’s tendency to perceive sexual orientation as a fundamentally gendered phenomenon. We draw from psychology and other disciplines to illustrate that, across cultures and over time, people view and evaluate lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals through how they conform or fail to conform to traditional gender expectations. We divide the review into two sections. The first draws upon historical, anthropological, legal, and qualitative approaches. The second draws upon psychological and sociological quantitative studies. A common thread across these disciplines is that gender and sexual orientation are inseparable constructs in the mind of the everyday social perceiver.
Over a half century of research has identified constellations of rigid, sexist, and hegemonic beliefs about how men should think, feel, and behave within Western societies (i.e., traditional masculine ideologies; TMI). However, there is a dearth of literature examining why people adhere to TMI. Within in this study, we examined TMI from an identity perspective. Specifically, we focused on the concepts of identity exploration and identity commitment to identify distinct identity statuses based on Marcia’s (1966) identity status theory. Our sample (N = 1136) was composed of college and community cisgender women (n = 890) and cisgender men (n = 244) in the United States. We conducted a Latent Profile Analysis (LPA) to allow identity status groups to naturally emerge based on levels of identity exploration and commitment. A three-class solution emerged as the best fit to the data. Individuals in the foreclosed status (i.e., high commitment but low exploration) scored higher on all seven TMI domains and lower on feminist attitudes compared to those who were high in exploration but low in identity commitment (i.e., identity moratorium). However, there was no difference between individuals high in both identity commitment and exploration (i.e., identity achievement) and the identity foreclosed individuals on feminist attitudes and three of seven dimensions of TMI. Implications and future directions are discussed.
Four studies demonstrated how terms of endearment (ToE; e.g., “honey,” “dear”) communicate, reflect, and reinforce sexism toward adult women outside of close relationships. Study 1 participants reported more negative reactions to ToE as their endorsement of benevolent sexism decreased, and older women reacted more negatively than men and younger women. In Study 2, an interviewer either used or did not use ToE when interviewing women from upper-level business classes. ToE use caused women relatively low in benevolent sexism to feel less positive, warm, and competent, whereas women higher in benevolent sexism were unaffected by the use of ToE. Shifting focus to ToE users, Study 3 participants read about a day in the life of a man protagonist (Tim) who did or did not use ToE. Participants inferred that Tim more strongly endorsed sexist attitudes and hierarchy-enforcing ideologies if he used ToE than if he did not. Finally, Study 4 showed that the more participants self-reported using ToE, the more they endorsed several of these sexist attitudes and ideologies. Altogether, this research demonstrates the deleterious effects of seemingly harmless language and extends knowledge about everyday sexism through language.
Men seek help for problems less often and more hesitantly than women across a wide range of contexts. While there are many potential sources for this gender discrepancy, one possibility is that masculine attitudes and behaviors discourage help-seeking behaviors and create help-seeking barriers. As the superhero genre often changes over time to reflect current social attitudes, the current study explores patterns, contexts, and rewards of help-seeking behaviors portrayed by men in a genre of media frequently consumed by men: superhero films. Twenty-three Marvel Cinematic Universe films were coded for superhero men’s help-seeking behaviors, as well as patterns in context and outcomes around help seeking. Overall, we found that superhero men displayed the help-seeking behaviors of approaching problems and collaboration with others most often, followed by the maladaptive coping strategy violence. In addition, help-seeking behaviors were most often displayed when the superhero was acting in his personal/self, capacity and superhero men were most often confronted with physical problems. Furthermore, we found that most of the help-seeking behaviors coded were rewarded only about half of the time. Finally, we found several differences in patterns of help-seeking displayed by various specific heroes. Other patterns and implications are discussed.
Rape victims are frequently blamed for their own victimization, which adds to their psychological distress. However, Chinese scholars have generally not paid attention to the public’s attitudes toward, and attributions for, rape. In this study, we explored the effects of gender, rape myth acceptance, and situational factors (victim-perpetrator relationship, victim resistance, victim reporting) on rape attributions among Chinese observers. A sample of 1,011 participants from the Chinese community completed a series of questionnaires after reading one of 12 vignettes. Our results indicated that the relationship between gender and victim blame was moderated by reporting and suppressed by rape myth acceptance, while the relationship between gender and perpetrator blame was mediated by rape myth acceptance. In addition, both higher rape myth acceptance and non-stranger rape can increase victim blame and decrease perpetrator blame. We also found interactions between rape myth acceptance and resistance and between reporting and the victim-perpetrator relationship. These results suggest that it is critical to investigate the complex interplay between individual and situational factors that influence rape attributions. Rape attributions showed both cross-cultural consistency and patterns unique to the Chinese context, and our evidence provides ideas for reducing the negative social reaction of the public to rape victims.
The present work investigates how the increased domestic responsibilities created by the Spring 2020 lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic in Norway and gender ideologies relate to the well-being of mothers with elementary school children. In June 2020, we conducted a cross-sectional online study including current and retrospective measures with 180 mothers (Mage = 39.96 years, SD = 6.11) of elementary school children across Norway. First, in line with earlier research on the strain of the pandemic on parents, and especially mothers, we found that Norwegian mothers’ well-being during the lockdown significantly declined compared to before the lockdown (both measured retrospectively). Furthermore, mothers’ well-being after the Spring 2020 lockdown did not immediately return to pre-lockdown levels. Finally, we predicted that gender ideologies (i.e., essentialist beliefs about parenthood) would exacerbate the negative impact of increased domestic responsibilities (i.e., childcare and housework) on mothers’ well-being (i.e., higher standard-higher stress hypothesis). As predicted, for mothers who more strongly endorsed the belief that mothers are instinctively and innately better caretakers than fathers, perceptions of increased domestic responsibilities were associated with lower well-being post-lockdown. These findings point to the specific challenges mothers face in times of crisis, and the importance of addressing and confronting seemingly benevolent ideologies about motherhood that place additional burdens on women.
Bodybuilding is an increasingly popular sport in the United States. Across fields of psychology, history, sociology, and anthropology, bodybuilding has been examined as being related to, or as manifestly being, a pathology. Extant work on men who are bodybuilders are often built on the assumption that narcissism, self-doubt, and insecurity are the driving forces for men’s involvement. The present study sought to examine the experiences of eleven men who have competed in bodybuilding competitions. In contrast to the dominant academic discourse on bodybuilding as an embodiment of toxic masculinity or as a reaction to underlying feelings of inferiority, the study participants described friendly, supportive competition contexts. That such feelings were found backstage, as opposed to in a gym, strengthens the need for a more nuanced distinction between bodybuilding as a culture, and bodybuilding as a sport. This study disrupts dominant narratives of bodybuilding as pathological and contributes to work on the construction of gender and masculinity in sport. The present work suggests a scholarly approach to men’s bodybuilding in an open and nuanced manner that does not focus on pathologizing bodybuilding or competition.
The present research examines psychological concomitants of support for anti-abortion laws in Poland in the wake of the Constitutional Tribunal’s 2020 ruling restricting access to abortion in cases of fetal malformations. Results of two cross-sectional studies conducted on representative samples of Poles (Study 1, N = 994 and Study 2, N = 432) indicated that support for an almost total abortion ban was associated with national narcissism – a belief in the national in-group’s greatness that is contingent on its external validation. In both studies, the relationship between national narcissism and support for anti-abortion laws was mediated by hostile, but not benevolent, sexism. Study 2 additionally showed that this effect remained significant even when we accounted for other important variables, such as individual narcissism or prejudice towards people with Down syndrome. Overall, our results indicate that national narcissism may play an important role in shaping anti-abortion attitudes.
Attitudes toward establishing sexual consent is an important prerequisite for understanding whether and how men will actively negotiate consent in sexual activities. However, little is known about the factors influencing sexual consent attitudes. The current study examined the associations among three sets of factors, known to be associated with sexual assault culture (i.e., hostile and benevolent sexism, token resistance beliefs, and rape myth acceptance), and Chinese men’s sexual consent attitudes, and whether these associations differed depending on their history of binge drinking before sex. Data from 399 Chinese adult men who had sex with women in the past year were analyzed. The results indicated that token resistance beliefs, but not rape myth acceptance, mediated the relationship between hostile sexism and positive sexual consent attitude, an association that was significant in men with and without a history of binge drinking before sex. Benevolent sexism showed a positive significant direct effect on positive sexual consent attitude. Importantly, among men with a history of binge drinking before sex, benevolent sexism had a significant indirect effect on positive sexual consent attitude through token resistance beliefs. Moreover, the supportive direct effect of benevolent sexism on positive sexual consent attitude was also suppressed by a history of binge drinking before sex. These findings suggest that hostile sexism, token resistance beliefs, and binge drinking, may be detrimental to positive sexual consent attitude, and may be important starting points for sexual assault prevention projects in China.
Informed by goal congruity theory and emerging adulthood theory, this study examined changes over time and gender differences in the importance that college STEM majors placed on three life goals that have been hypothesized to explain the differential retention of men and women in STEM: Marriage-Family, Career-Status, and the desire to have a positive Social Impact. 251 students (n = 128, 51% women; n = 191, 76% White) completed three surveys, one year apart. Participants rated the importance of different life goals at each time point. Changes in importance ratings over time were moderated by gender. Men and women only differed in the importance placed on Marriage-Family goals at Time 1 and differences in Social Impact goals emerged at Time 3. Men’s ratings for Marriage-Family and Social Impact goals decreased over time, but women’s ratings did not significantly change. For both genders, ratings of Career-Status goals decreased over time. Secondary analyses suggest that gender differences in Marriage-Family and Social Impact goals emerge midway through college for STEM majors. Findings suggest that women who are retained in STEM majors place a high value on Marriage-Family and Social Impact goals, similar to non-STEM majors, but may be able to better visualize a future STEM career that affords these goals. Explanations for gender differences in STEM interest based on goal congruity theory should consider that the importance of different life goals may change over college.
Social pressures to adhere to traditional feminine roles may place some women at risk of experiencing gender role discrepancy strain, when they behave, think, or feel in ways discrepant from feminine gender role expectations. The current research examines how person-level propensity to experience feminine gender-role discrepancy strain-feminine gender role stress (FGRS)-and contextual experiences of discrepancy strain-feeling less feminine in daily or weekly life-combine to undermine women's self-esteem. After completing measures of FGRS, undergraduate women reported their feelings of femininity and self-esteem each day for 10 days (Study 1, N = 207, 1,881 daily records) or each week for 7 weeks (Study 2, N = 165, 1,127 weekly records). This repeated assessments design provided the first tests of whether within-person decreases in felt-femininity were associated with lower self-esteem, particularly for women who were higher in FGRS. Both higher FGRS and within-person decreases in daily/weekly felt-femininity were associated with lower self-esteem, but higher FGRS combined with daily/weekly decreases in felt-femininity predicted the lowest self-esteem (a person x context interaction). These results illustrate the importance of considering how person-level predispositions and contextual experiences of gender-role discrepancy strain combine to influence self-relevant outcomes for women.
The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11199-022-01305-1.
Precarious manhood theory posits a double standard in gender rules such that prescriptions (“shoulds”) and proscriptions (“should nots”) are endorsed more strongly for men than for women. Here, we tested this hypothesis by asking whether people view agency as more desirable in men than communion is in women, and weakness as less desirable in men than dominance is in women. Data from college undergraduates in 62 countries (N = 27,343) indicated that: (1) measures of agency, communion, weakness, and dominance are psychometrically comparable across countries; (2) prescriptions (agency for men, communion for women) are variable across countries, whereas proscriptions (weakness for men, dominance for women) appear universal; (3) double standards in prescriptions (men’s agency as more desirable than women’s communion) are larger in countries lower in gender equality and human development, whereas double standards in proscriptions (men’s weakness as less desirable than women’s dominance) do not covary with country-level factors; and (4) these patterns are moderated by participant gender in nuanced ways, and are robust to control by individual-level gender beliefs. Discussion considers the theoretical and practical significance of these findings for understanding how young adults – as cultural agents of gender socialization – hold men to asymmetrically rigid gender rules.
This study explored the role of midlife market-work arrangements of married mixed-gender couples on gendered experiences in emotional well-being and housework during the encore years. Working during midlife may shape long-term outcomes after couples leave the workforce and begin retirement. Using three theories of gender as a framework to understand work sharing in couples, the study theoretically connects work arrangements in midlife with long-term predictions of gender differences in couple emotional well-being and housework. Using longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study (2000–2015; N = 3,231), the study found that gender differences in housework were similar in male-earner and dual-earner couples during the encore years. However, women in male-earner marriages reported low levels of emotional well-being in the encore years, while men in dual-earner couples in mid-life reported high levels of well-being. The findings suggest more gendered experiences in midlife employment correlated with worse mental health in the encore years for women. Understanding midlife employment as a protective factor against depressive symptoms is useful for families, practitioners, and policymakers to be aware of as they seek to understand and mitigate drivers of poor mental health during the encore years. The study demonstrates a need for further development of dynamic theoretical models to explain gender differences over the life course.
Drawing on social role theory (Eagly & Wood, 2016), this paper seeks to understand the nature and causes of gender bias in student evaluations of teaching (SETs) by looking at student evaluations of faculty at two time periods: on the second day of class and on the day after the first exam grade is returned. We seek to understand whether bias exists at the onset of the semester and whether backlash after grading exacerbates any differences. We hypothesized that students would perceive grade feedback more harshly from a female faculty member than a male faculty member due to role congruency expectations of communality in women. The results indicate limited evidence for gender bias at the onset of the semester (the second day of class) and strong evidence for bias against female faculty after the first exam grade is received. This work advances our understanding of when bias develops within the semester and why it may occur. The findings of this study should be of interest to administrators and human resource personnel by ultimately aiding their ability to better manage gender bias in performance evaluations.
Few studies have explored factors contributing to women’s increasing alcohol consumption and associated consequences. One potential gender-relevant factor is self-objectification or the perspective toward the self where the body is primarily valued for its appearance and sexual appeal (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997). In the current study, we investigated the link between self-objectification and young adult college women’s alcohol use as well as alcohol use prior to casual sexual activity or “hooking up.” In addition, we examined novel explanatory (i.e., sexual self-esteem, body consciousness during sexual activity, alcohol sexual enhancement expectancies) factors in predicting young adult college women’s drinking behaviors via a parallel-serial multiple mediation model. We recruited participants (N = 518; 85% White, 74% heterosexual) via a psychology department human research pool and Facebook advertisements to complete an online survey. Results revealed that self-objectification was positively correlated with alcohol use and alcohol use prior to hooking up. In addition, self-objectification was indirectly related to alcohol use through sexual self-esteem and alcohol sexual enhancement expectancies, as well as indirectly related to alcohol use prior to hooking up through alcohol sexual enhancement expectancies. None of our theorized three-stage mediation chains linking self-objectification to alcohol use behaviors were significant. These findings highlight the potential negative role of self-objectification in women’s health and the importance of focusing on alcohol sexual enhancement expectancies in intervention strategies.
Superheroes are extremely popular among children, adolescents, and adults in the United States (and worldwide). However, there is little research on the impact of superhero exposure on developmental outcomes, particularly over time. The current paper includes a 5-year longitudinal study examining the relationship between superhero exposure in early childhood and indicators of hegemonic masculinity in later childhood, including endorsement of masculinity ideology, muscular ideal, and male gender stereotypes, and attitudes toward women. Participants included 155 children (51% female, Mage = 4.83 years at Wave 1) and their parents, who completed several questionnaires at two separate time points. Analyses revealed that early superhero exposure was indirectly associated with weaker egalitarian attitudes toward women and greater endorsement of the muscular ideal during later childhood through superhero exposure in late childhood. Implications for individuals, parents, and media producers are discussed.
Millions of men in the US experience substance abuse and impulse control disorders, which is well researched. Far fewer scholars have studied the millions of men that also experience depression (which is traditionally associated with women). Drawing upon literature on fragile masculinity and masculinity threat, we evaluate the role of endorsing hegemonic masculinity ideals (e.g., men should be strong, unemotional, and financially secure) in both internalizing (depression) and externalizing (anger) mental health problems, focusing on older White men aged 70–74 in the Wisconsin Longitudinal Survey (N = 1,794). In addition to predicting mental health among older men according to their agreement with hegemonic masculinity ideals, we examine the impact of two potential threats to masculinity: health and wealth decline. We find that endorsement of hegemonic masculinity ideals is positively associated with externalizing and internalizing symptoms and that the association between hegemonic masculinity ideals and depressive symptoms is even stronger for men who perceive their health to be declining and those who have lost wealth. We conclude that endorsement of rigid hegemonic masculinity ideals negatively impacts older men’s mental health, especially when they experience challenges to their self-perception as strong, independent, and self-reliant. We provide suggestions as to how improving our understanding of the association between masculinity beliefs and mental health can inform clinical practice as well as public health and public policy.
Although physics is one of the most male-dominated educational fields in Europe and North America, this is not the case in all parts of the world. The present study investigates contextual variability in the physics gender gap by leveraging unique characteristics of the Israeli state educational system, including its highly standardized national curriculum and its distinct school sectors that differ on key analytical dimensions. First, comparison of schools serving different sociocultural groups reveals strong overrepresentation of boys in advanced physics courses in the Hebrew-speaking but not the Arabic-speaking school sector. This pattern aligns with previous cross-national studies showing more gender-integration of STEM fields in contexts characterized by more socioeconomic precarity and in Muslim-majority societies. Second, comparison of advanced physics course-taking between coeducational and single-sex schools provides no support for claims about the degendering effects of single-sex education. Results are consistent with accounts that treat educational gender segregation as the product of contextually contingent sorting processes rather than stable characteristics of boy and girl students. Initiatives aimed at addressing the gender gap in STEM fields must be calibrated to the diverse sociocultural contexts in which these sorting processes unfold.
We introduce a new inventory measuring sex-based harassment intentions and threat perceptions grounded in gender status threat theories (Berdahl, 2007; Stephan et al., 2016). In Study 1 (N = 568 men), an initial Sex-Based Harassment Inventory (SBHI) was developed with 12 scenarios depicting gender status threats to which respondents rated the likelihood to engage in gender harassment, unwanted sexual attention, supportive conduct, and their perceptions of threat. The final version of the SBHI contained six scenarios with four items each. Gender harassment and unwanted sexual attention intentions loaded on a single, reliable factor, labeled harassment intentions. Two other factors measured threat perceptions and supportive behavior intentions. harassment intentions correlated significantly with threat perceptions, likelihood to sexually harass (Pryor, 1987), hostile and benevolent sexism (Glick & Fiske, 1996), and masculine identification (Glick et al., 2015). In Study 2 (N = 391 men), a non-threat version of the SBHI was compared to the threat version. Threat perceptions mediated the effect of scenario version on harassment intentions, which was stronger at moderate to high levels of hostile sexism and social dominance orientation. Consistent with Berdahl’s theory, these studies present promising initial evidence for the validity of the final version of the SBHI and the links between gender status threat and sex-based harassment intentions to gender status threat.
Digital media use represents a central part of young adults’ daily life, within which social interactions increasingly center on visual content. While visual content, such as representations of self, may facilitate positive social interactivity, it may also increase susceptibility to harmful social interactions, such as appearance-related online victimization. Black women’s bodies are often the target of gendered racial microaggressions and sexual victimization which can contribute to body image concerns. Still, the online victimization–body esteem link among Black women remains unexamined. This study used structural equation modeling to examine the associations between four categories of online victimization (i.e., general online victimization, online individual racial victimization, online vicarious racial victimization, online sexual victimization) and body esteem. We further examined whether womanism, an identity-based factor, moderated the relationship between online victimization and body esteem. A sample of 1,595 young Black women completed an online survey. Results showed that online sexual victimization was significantly negatively associated with body esteem and that high levels of womanism buffered the harmful impact of general online victimization on body esteem. Future research is needed to examine Black women’s and gender expansive people’s experiences with online gendered racial victimization along with other forms of online intersectional oppression.
The Internal Consent Scale (ICS) was created to measure feelings associated with a person’s willingness to engage in partnered sexual activity. Although previous studies using the ICS have assessed gender differences, evidence has not been provided to suggest that the ICS functions similarly for women and men. Using data from an online cross-sectional survey of adults (N = 874; 53.1% women), we subjected the 25-item ICS to tests of measurement invariance across gender. We found that only partial measurement invariance was tenable, which indicated that direct comparisons across gender should be interpreted with caution when using the ICS. Therefore, we created a gender-invariant short form. In support of construct validity, we found that this 15-item ICS–Short Form demonstrated similar associations with measures of sexual consent communication as the full 25-item ICS. If researchers aim to compare women and men on internal sexual consent, we recommend using the 15-item ICS–Short Form. Cognitive interviews should be conducted to further understand how women and men might differentially interpret ICS items.
Academic studies of gender pay gaps within higher education institutions have consistently found pay differences. However, theory on how organisation-level factors contribute to pay gaps is underdeveloped. Using a framework of relational inequalities and advanced quantitative analysis, this paper makes a case that gender pay gaps are based on organisation-level interpretations and associated management practices to reward ‘merit’ that perpetuate inequalities. Payroll data of academic staff within two UK Russell Group universities ( N = 1,998 and 1,789) with seeming best-practice formal pay systems are analysed to determine causes of gender pay gaps. We find marked similarities between universities. Most of the variability is attributed to factors of job segregation and human capital, however we also delineate a set of demographic characteristics that, when combined, are highly rewarded without explanation. Based on our analysis of the recognition of ‘merit,’ we extend theoretical explanations of gender pay gap causes to incorporate organisation-level practices.
Gender similarity is an indicator of perceived fit with own-gender peers and other-gender peers and is strongly correlated with indicators of adolescent adjustment, including negative peer interactions. Although gender similarity is generally studied as a composite variable, evidence is increasing that peer victimization might be uniquely related to specific domains of gender similarity such as appearance or interests. A better understanding of the specific factors that motivate peer victimization will likely aid in intervention efforts. We analyzed five domains of own- and other-gender similarity (feelings, actions, appearance, preferences, time spent with peers) for adolescents, and explored whether they uniquely predicted negative peer interactions including general peer victimization (e.g., pushing/hitting) and experiencing or perpetrating gender-based peer victimization (e.g., anti-gay name-calling) over time. With 407 adolescents (14–17 years old, Mage = 15.42, 50% girls, 52% White) from two timepoints that were six months apart, we first conducted MANOVAs at T1 to assess gender differences in peer victimization experiences. Next, we conducted logistic regression path analyses to model the relation between gender similarity and peer victimization over time. Adolescents reported unique outcomes for different domains of gender similarity with girls focused on appearance and boys focused on not spending time with girls. We discuss how girls’ and boys’ experiences of gender similarity may be differentially informed by androcentric culture and how different expressions of gender uniquely provoke negative peer attention.
Understanding the stalled gender revolution requires understanding how couples’ domestic arrangements are related to their reports of relationship quality. Research, however, is equivocal on whether egalitarian housework arrangements are optimal for both men’s and women’s relationship quality (e.g., perceived equity and relationship satisfaction). Inconsistent findings may result from the fact that conventional approaches to measuring housework divisions do not account for how couples construct their domestic arrangements. This study reconceptualizes the division of routine housework as a count of tasks one shares equally with their partner, and compares this measure to a conventional measure of male partner’s proportion of overall housework in predicting relationship quality. Regression analyses are conducted for men and women in mixed-sex, married and cohabiting unions from two datasets: the 1992–1994 wave of the U.S. National Survey of Families and Households (N = 10,498) and the 2006 Marital and Relationship Survey (N = 1,065). Results indicate substantial variability in the degree of task sharing in couples. Consistent with social exchange theory, men’s overall proportion of housework is positively associated with women’s relationship quality but negatively associated with men’s relationship quality. Number of equally shared tasks, however, is positively associated with both men’s and women’s relationship quality, supporting an equity perspective. Overall, findings indicate that egalitarian arrangements where partners’ share equally in the completion of housework tasks are the most mutually beneficial arrangement, resulting in the highest levels of relationship quality for both men and women.