When Men Perceive Anti-male Bias: Status-Legitimizing Beliefs Increase Discrimination Against Women

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Abstract

This research examines how increasing perceptions of anti-male bias lead men who endorse the gender status hierarchy to perpetuate social inequality. For men primed with anti-male bias, greater status-legitimizing belief (SLB) endorsement was associated with more negative evaluations of a female target and less desire to help her. SLB endorsement was unrelated to evaluations and helping when men were primed with bias against an outgroup (Study 1). Furthermore, when men perceived anti-male bias, priming SLB caused more negative evaluations and fewer helping intentions toward female targets (Study 2). An analysis of the free-response feedback that participants provided targets revealed ingroup favoritism; men primed with SLBs provided male targets more constructive feedback than they did to female targets (Study 2). Thus, some men may be particularly likely to display discrimination against women when they perceive bias against their own group. We discuss how this behavior may perpetuate social disparities.

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