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Gender, sexism, and the election: did sexism help Trump more than it hurt Clinton?

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Abstract

Data from Reuters/Ipsos polls (6116 respondents) conducted shortly before and after the 2016 presidential election (from 4 to 17 November 2016) were used to test whether: (1) women and men differed in favorability toward Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump, (2) sexism (either hostile or benevolent) predicted favorability ratings toward each candidate. Overall, men and women rated Clinton similarly, but men favored Trump significantly more than women did. Hostile sexist attitudes were second only to general political orientation in predicting positive attitudes toward Trump; however, hostile sexism predicted disfavoring Clinton only among women and not among men. By contrast, benevolent sexism weakly, but significantly predicted greater favorability toward Clinton but was unrelated to Trump favorability ratings. Thus, hostile sexist attitudes among voters significantly helped Trump, whereas benevolent sexism yielded only a weak protective effect toward Clinton.

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... Investigations in psychology have applied the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory (ASI; Glick & Fiske, 1996) in 19 countries and have found that both hostile and benevolent sexism are prevalent across different cultures (Glick & Fiske, 2001). Recent studies in the United States have linked ambivalent sexism to heterogenous impacts on political behavior-that is, hostile and benevolent sexism have independent and different effects on, for instance, reactions to electoral campaign strategies (Cassese & Holman, 2019), vote choice in the 2016 presidential election (Bock, Byrd-Craven, & Burkley, 2017;Cassese & Barnes, 2019a;Frasure-Yokley, 2018;Glick, 2019;Schaffner, MacWilliams, & Nteta, 2018), and voters' responses to scandals (Barnes et al., 2020). ...
... Hostile sexism views gender relationships through a negative lens: Any gain obtained by women is necessarily achieved at the expense of men (Glick & Fiske, 2001). For hostile sexists, women are in direct competition to men and as such, are untrustworthy, power seeking, and manipulative (Glick, 2019;Glick & Fiske, 1996). Consequently, they are undeserving of men's role in society and should be discriminated against (Glick, 2019). ...
... For hostile sexists, women are in direct competition to men and as such, are untrustworthy, power seeking, and manipulative (Glick, 2019;Glick & Fiske, 1996). Consequently, they are undeserving of men's role in society and should be discriminated against (Glick, 2019). For example, hostile sexism is associated with the hiring of less qualified men over more qualified women (Christopher & Mull, 2006) or with women in managerial positions being viewed negatively (Eagly & Carli, 2007). ...
Article
Previous research on support for gender quotas focuses on attitudes toward gender equality and government intervention as explanations. We argue the role of attitudes toward women in understanding support for policies aiming to increase the presence of women in politics is ambivalent—both hostile and benevolent forms of sexism contribute in understanding support, albeit in different ways. Using original data from a survey conducted on a probability‐based sample of Australian respondents, our findings demonstrate that hostile sexists are more likely to oppose increasing of women's presence in politics through the adoption of gender quotas. Benevolent sexists, on the other hand, are more likely to support these policies than respondents exhibiting low levels of benevolent sexism. We argue this is because benevolent sexism holds that women are pure and need protection; they do not have what it takes to succeed in politics without the assistance of quotas. Finally, we show that while women are more likely to support quotas, ambivalent sexism has the same relationship with support among both women and men. These findings suggest that aggregate levels of public support for gender quotas do not necessarily represent greater acceptance of gender equality generally.
... The most explicit manifestation of sexist attitudes in political psychology is "hostile sexism" (Glick and Fiske, 2001;Cassese and Barnes, 2019): the "antipathy toward women who are viewed as usurping men's power" (Glick and Fiske, 1996, p. 109). For hostile sexists, women seek advancement at the expense of men, and should therefore be viewed as untrustworthy, powerseeking, and manipulative (Glick and Fiske, 1996;Glick, 2019). Furthermore, women make illegitimate claims on government to advance their position beyond their innate capacities. ...
... Furthermore, women make illegitimate claims on government to advance their position beyond their innate capacities. At the extreme end, hostile sexists believe women do not deserve equal footing in society and that discrimination against them is justifiable (Glick, 2019). ...
... These attitudes can predict a wide range of political behaviors, including perceptions of political scandals (Barnes et al., 2020), responses to electoral campaign strategies (Cassese and Holman, 2018), and vote choice in the 2016 American presidential election (Bock et al., 2017;Frasure-Yokley, 2018;Schaffner et al., 2018;Cassese and Barnes, 2019;Glick, 2019), 2019 Australian election (Beauregard, 2021), and 2019 British general election (de Geus et al., 2021). Additional work has shown that sexism shapes views of explicitly gendered policies like gender quotas (Beauregard and Sheppard, 2021), but also opposition to policies that are perceived to be a threat to the status quo such as climate policy (Benegal and Holman, 2021). ...
Article
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Sexist attitudes influence a wide range of political behaviors, including support for explicitly gendered policies like gender quotas. But we know much less about how sexism might broadly shape policy preferences. We argue that some policy domains are implicitly associated with being pro-women or pro-men because of gender socialization, gender segregation in the workforce, and differences in policy preferences in the general population and among political elites. As (hostile) sexists view women as inherently undeserving, making illegitimate claims on government, and getting ahead at the expense of men, we hypothesize that they will oppose policies associated with women, while supporting “male” policies such as defense and law enforcement. We test our hypothesis using the 2019 Australian Election Study and 2018 US Cooperative Congressional Study. We find similar patterns of policy preferences, wherein those holding sexist attitudes (net of other attitudes and demographic characteristics) want to cut funding for pro-women policies like social services, education, and health, while they approve of increased funding for law enforcement and defense.
... Hostile sexists justify male superiority and traditional gender roles with derogatory characterisations of women. Women are untrustworthy, power seeking, manipulative, ungrateful, underserving of men's place in society, and should be discriminated against, according to hostile sexists (Glick 2019;Glick and Fiske 1996). Using the 2019 Australian Election Study (AES), I, first, evaluate the determinants of these attitudes in Australia and whether gender and partisan differences occur; and second, I assess whether hostile sexism influences similarly the voting behaviour of Australian women and men. ...
... Sexist attitudes are found to influence reactions to electoral campaign strategies (Cassese and Holman 2019), voters' responses to scandals (Barnes, Beaulieu, and Saxton 2020), and support for gender quotas in politics (Beauregard and Sheppard 2021). One fruitful line of research, however, is to investigate the link between sexist attitudes and vote choice, especially following the 2016 American presidential election (Bracic, Israel-Trummel, and Shortle 2019;Glick 2019;Cassese and Barnes 2019;Frasure-Yokley 2018;Schaffner, MacWilliams, and Nteta 2018;Bock, Byrd-Craven, and Burkley 2017;Simas and Bumgardner 2017). ...
Article
While attitudes toward women and gender equality are increasingly salient in Australian politics, little is known about how sexist attitudes shape political behaviour. Using the Australian Election Study, I assess the extent hostile sexism is present among Australian citizens and influenced vote choice in the 2019 Federal election. First, I find that women are less likely than men to hold hostile sexist attitudes, but gender differences vary by party identification. Second, I show that hostile sexism is not significantly related to the likelihood of voting for the Labor or Liberal parties. Hostile sexist attitudes, however, significantly increase the likelihood of voting for the National party and significantly decrease the likelihood of voting for the Greens. Finally, I find no gender difference in the role of hostile sexism in explaining vote choice.
... With regard to psychological variables, we emphasized the role of "hot" emotional factors, but "cold" cognitive factors like cognitive ability and rigidity have also played a role in recent voting behavior (Choma & Hanoch, 2017;Ganzach, Hanoch, & Choma, 2019;Zmigrod, Rentfrow, & Robbins, 2018). Moreover, there are other personality traits (e.g., the Dark Triad) and measures of group-based dominance (e.g., explicit hostile and benev olent sexism) that we did not examine but which have been linked to Trump support (Glick, 2019;Yalch, 2021). Regarding structural factors, we emphasized the role of fairly enduring structural factors rather than more immediate features of the electoral context, such as media coverage (Reuning & Dietrich, 2019) or the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic (Baccini, Brodeur, & Weymouth, 2021;Clarke, Stewart, & Ho, 2021), which some researchers have argued accounted for Trump's win in 2016 and loss in 2020, respectively. ...
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Since Trump was elected U.S. President in 2016, researchers have sought to explain his support, with some focusing on structural factors (e.g., economics) and others focusing on psychological factors (e.g., negative emotions). We integrate these perspectives in a regional analysis of 18+ structural variables capturing economic, demographic, and health factors as well as the aggregated neuroticism scores of 3+ million individuals. Results revealed that regions that voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020 had high levels of neuroticism and economic deprivation. Regions that voted for Trump also had high anti-Black implicit bias and low ethnic diversity, though Trump made gains in ethnically diverse regions in 2020. Trump's voter base differed from the voter base of more traditional Republican candidates and Democrat Bernie Sanders. In sum, structural and psychological factors both explain Trump's unique authoritarian appeal. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction, provided the original work is properly cited.
... In particular, the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory (ASI) was one commonly used approach. The ASI was designed and introduced by social psychologists Peter Glick andSusan Fiske in 1996 (Glick andFiske 1996) and has been widely used by social psychologists since then. However, the inventory is mostly new to political science research. ...
Article
Political scientists are paying increasing attention to understanding the role of sexist attitudes on predicting vote choices and opinions on issues. However, the research in this area measures sexist attitudes with a variety of different items and scales. In this paper, I evaluate some of the most prominent contemporary measures of sexism and develop an approach for identifying optimal items based on (1) convergent validity, (2) predictive validity, and (3) distance from politics. I find that a subset of items from the hostile sexism scale exhibit the most desirable measurement properties and I conclude by recommending a simple two- to five-item reduced hostile sexism battery that will allow scholars to efficiently, validly, and consistently measure sexism.
... These attitudes are characteristic of what has been called "hostile sexism" and help to explain why the gender gap is not larger than it appears in our data. See Glick and Fiske (2001), Frasure-Yokley (2018), Cassese and Barnes (2019), Cassese and Holman (2019), Glick (2019), Luks and Schaffner (2019). 12 In this regard, little has changed since Clarence Thomas squared off against Anita Hill in 1991: https ://www.aei.org/polit ...
... While there is some indication that overt sexism toward women in politics is declining (e.g., Teele, Kalla, and Rosenbluth 2018), whether this is true for women who run for the highest office in US politics remains unknown because it is largely unchartedand therefore underanalyzedterritory. Thus far, postmortems of the 2016 election that account for the role of sexism and gender have found direct effects (e.g., Bracic, Israel-Trummel, and Shortle 2019;Cassese and Holman 2018;Glick 2019;Schaffner, Macwilliams, and Nteta 2018;Valentino, Wayne, and Oceno 2018). Here, our effort was to shine more light on whether perceptions of candidates' gender (femininity and masculinity) affected their success. ...
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The prevalence of gender stereotypes in US politics is well documented, yet questions remain: do voters think of presidential candidates in gendered terms and, if so, is there a connection to support? To answer these questions, we analyze survey respondent descriptions of 2016 primary and general election presidential candidates. We assess whether descriptions are gendered, if gender slurs are applied more to the female candidate, and whether these descriptions are associated with candidate support. We find that Hillary Clinton is described in more masculine than feminine terms, with a higher frequency of gendered slurs than other candidates. Bernie Sanders is described with more feminine than masculine traits, and Donald Trump is overwhelmingly described as masculine. As expected, Trump’s support is associated with more masculine and less feminine trait attributions. However, masculine descriptions of Clinton are associated with lower levels of support, consistent with role congruity theory and the persistence of the double bind for female candidates.
... These attitudes are characteristic of what has been called "hostile sexism" and help to explain why the gender gap is not larger than it appears in our data. See Glick and Fiske (2001), Frasure-Yokley (2018), Cassese and Barnes (2019), Cassese and Holman (2019), Glick (2019), Luks and Schaffner (2019). 12 In this regard, little has changed since Clarence Thomas squared off against Anita Hill in 1991: https ://www.aei.org/polit ...
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Two current members of the U.S. Supreme Court took their seats despite allegations of sexual harassment (Clarence Thomas) and sexual assault (Brett Kavanaugh) leveled against them during their confirmation hearings. In each instance, the Senate vote was close and split mainly along party lines: Republicans for and Democrats against. Polls showed that a similar division existed among party supporters in the electorate. There are, however, differences among rank-and-file partisans that help shape their views on the issues raised by these two controversial appointments to the nation’s highest court. Using data from a national survey of registered voters, we examine the factors associated with citizens’ attitudes about the role of women in politics, the extent to which sexism is a problem in society, the recent avalanche of sexual harassment charges made against elected officials and other political (as well as entertainment, business, and academic) figures, and the #MeToo movement. We are particularly interested in whether a strong sense of partisan identity adds significantly to our understanding of people’s attitudes on these matters. In addition, our experimental evidence allows us to determine whether shared partisanship overrides other factors when an elected official from one’s own party is accused of sexual misbehavior.
... Importantly, sexism is not politically neutral. Research shows that sexism and racism were the best predictorsbetter than authoritarianismof voting for Trump (Valentino, Wayne, & Oceno, 2018) and hostile sexism specifically was the second strongest predictor after general political orientation (Glick, 2019). Crucially, women are socialised to endorse sexism and their sexism is higher in strongly sexist cultural contexts (Zawisza, Luyt, & Zawadzka, 2015). ...
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Recent events such as the US presidential campaign have polarised public opinion, particularly in terms of support for ‘populist’ political figures, e.g. Donald Trump, and the seemingly non-egalitarian ideologies that they promote. One might anticipate that disempowered social groups, such as women or sexual minorities, would reject ‘rightwing populism’, as it rarely appears to advocate their interests or facilitate their empowerment. Yet the existence of movements like ‘Gays for Trump’ and ‘#WomenWhoVoteTrump’ indicate more complex patterns of support. How might we understand this from gender and sexualities perspectives? This paper presents the proceedings of a round table discussion. Our contributors, members of a crossinstitutional social psychological Gender and Sexualities Research Group, each presented a brief five-minute interpretation of the phenomenon. They did so from gender and/or sexualities perspectives, drawing upon different social psychological theory. A chaired debate followed. Key themes from the round table are identified which are potentially helpful in understanding the phenomenon. The broader implications of these themes for practice and theory are considered in terms of the concept of ‘safe identities’.
... masculinity | racism | sexism | hegmony | political attitudes D onald J. Trump's history-making ascension from nonpolitician to president of the United States has been explained in terms of an array of factors. Support for President Trump has been found to be associated with the antiestablishment, antielitist, and nativist populism of Trump voters (1), as well as voters' sexism (2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)(9), racism (10,11), homophobia, and xenophobia (2). In addition, many of the factors that predict support of President Trump are confounded with group membership. ...
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Significance Donald J. Trump’s history-making ascension from nonpolitician to president of the United States has been attributed to the antiestablishment, antielitist, and nativist populism of Trump voters, as well as to sexism, racism, homophobia, and xenophobia. Based on the findings of seven studies involving 2,007 people, men’s and women’s endorsement of hegemonic masculinity predicted support for Trump over and beyond the aforementioned factors, even when controlling for political party affiliation. Results highlight the importance of looking beyond social identity–based conceptualizations of masculinity to fully consider how men’s and women’s endorsement of cultural ideologies about masculinity legitimate patriarchal forms of dominance and reify gender-, race-, and class-based hierarchies.
... First, although xenophobia was a strong and consistent predictor of Americans' feelings about Trump and the GOP, data limitations prevented us from simultaneously accounting for inter-related factors. Of particular note is hostile sexism, which has been shown to be a strong predictor of Trump support (Cassese & Barnes, 2019;Cassese & Holman, 2019;Glick, 2019;Ratliff et al., 2019). Without accounting for ideologies about gender and sexuality, we are unable to definitively say that xenophobia is the strongest predictor of Americans' feelings about Trump. ...
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During his 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump distinguished himself from other candidates via his hardline stances on issues of immigration. Using data from national surveys conducted between 2014 and 2019, we identify three key findings about views of immigrants among the American public during the Trump era. First, xenophobia was the strongest predictor of Americans’ feelings—anger, fear, pride, and hope—about Donald Trump during his time in office, and the second strongest predictor of feelings about the Republican party (after partisan identification). Second, the influence of Americans’ levels of xenophobia on their feelings about the Republican Party were significantly mediated by their feelings about Trump, especially for negative affect (anger and fear). Third, there has been a backlash against xenophobia, such that political independents and Democrats became significantly more favorable toward immigrants after 2016. As a result, views of immigrants have become more favorable overall, but also more politically polarized. These findings support and extend immigration backlash theory, contribute to research on affective polarization, and document consequential trends in contemporary American politics.
... While some studies show that women hold less hostile sexist attitudes than men on average, they are just as likely to subscribe to notions of traditional gender roles and endorse benevolent sexist attitudes (Glick and Fiske 2001). Interestingly, benevolent sexism has been modestly associated with support for Clinton over Trump in some studies (Cassese and Holman 2019;Glick 2019). ...
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Scholars increasingly recognize that voters’ attitudes about gender shape their electoral preferences. Yet previous research has not captured important nuances of the relationship between gender attitudes and electoral choice. We argue that the effects of gender attitudes are not unidirectional and interact in complex ways with voters’ perceptions of candidates, depending not only on candidates’ sex but also on their gender-relevant characteristics and values. We draw on an original survey of Americans during the 2016 elections that measured three gender attitudes—hostile sexism, modern sexism, and traditional gender roles—and evaluations of primary and general election candidates. Our study design increases analytical leverage by examining actual and hypothetical candidate matchups. We find that among Democrats, hostile sexists were drawn to Bernie Sanders, but gender traditionalists preferred Hillary Clinton. Our results also suggest that if Sanders had been the Democratic nominee, gender egalitarians would have strongly supported him over Donald Trump, as they did Clinton.
... It would be helpful to identify other individual difference variables which affect negative stereotypes. Examples include hegemonic masculinity (Vescio and Schermerhorn 2021) and hostile sexism (Glick 2019;Ratliff et al. 2019), which predicted support for Trump in the 2016 election. Hegemonic masculinity was also related to sexism, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and Islamophobia (Vescio and Schermerhorn 2021). ...
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Part I. From There to Here - Theoretical Background: 1. From visiousness to viciousness: theories of intergroup relations 2. Social dominance theory as a new synthesis Part II. Oppression and its Psycho-Ideological Elements: 3. The psychology of group dominance: social dominance orientation 4. Let's both agree that you're really stupid: the power of consensual ideology Part III. The Circle of Oppression - The Myriad Expressions of Institutional Discrimination: 5. You stay in your part of town and I'll stay in mine: discrimination in the housing and retail markets 6. They're just too lazy to work: discrimination in the labor market 7. They're just mentally and physically unfit: discrimination in education and health care 8. The more of 'them' in prison, the better: institutional terror, social control and the dynamics of the criminal justice system Part IV. Oppression as a Cooperative Game: 9. Social hierarchy and asymmetrical group behavior: social hierarchy and group difference in behavior 10. Sex and power: the intersecting political psychologies of patriarchy and empty-set hierarchy 11. Epilogue.
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The masculine overcompensation thesis asserts that men react to masculinity threats with extreme demonstrations of masculinity, a proposition tested here across four studies. In study 1, men and women were randomly given feedback suggesting they were either masculine or feminine. Women showed no effects when told they were masculine; however, men given feedback suggesting they were feminine expressed more support for war, homophobic attitudes, and interest in purchasing an SUV. Study 2 found that threatened men expressed greater support for, and desire to advance in, dominance hierarchies. Study 3 showed in a large-scale survey on a diverse sample that men who reported that social changes threatened the status of men also reported more homophopic and prodominance attitudes, support for war, and belief in male superiority. Finally, study 4 found that higher testosterone men showed stronger reactions to masculinity threats than those lower in testosterone. Together, these results support the masculine overcompensation thesis, show how it can shape political and cultural attitudes, and identify a hormonal factor influencing the effect.
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Until recently, the study of gender development has focused mainly on sex typing as an attribute of the individual. Although this perspective continues to be enlightening, recent work has focused increasingly on children's tendency to congregate in same-sex groups. This self-segregation of the two sexes implies that much of childhood gender enactment occurs in the context of same-sex dyads or larger groups. There are emergent properties of such groups, so that certain sex-distinctive qualities occur at the level of the group rather than at the level of the individual. There is increasing research interest in the distinctive nature of the group structures, activities, and interactions that typify all-male as compared with all-female groups, and in the socialization that occurs within these groups. Next steps in research will surely call for the integration of the individual and group perspectives.
21 times Trump assured us he respects women
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