Are Men Who Perceive Anti-Male Bias in Society Likely to Discriminate Against Women?

A new study led by Clara Wilkins, an assistant professor of psychology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, sought to determine if men, who perceive that society is biased against men and favors women, were more likely to discriminate against women.

Researchers read a group of men one of two articles. One article discussed increasing bias against men in society. Another discussed bias against another societal group. The men were then asked to rate the qualifications of two candidates for a job. The qualifications of the candidates – one woman and one man – were nearly identical. The men who had been read the article about increased bias against men in society tended to give a more negative evaluation to the woman job candidate. Men who had been read an article about bias against another group did not show bias toward the woman job candidate.

The authors maintain that if men increasingly perceive discrimination against their group, they may be more inclined to discriminate against women and provide other men with an extra boost. The authors recommend adopting hiring and evaluation processes that mask gender to prevent these potentially deleterious effects of perceiving bias against men.

Dr. Wilkins joined the faculty at Wesleyan University in 2011. She is a graduate of Stanford University and holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington.

The full study, “When Men Perceive Anti-Male Bias: Status-Legitimizing Beliefs Increase Discrimination Against Women,” was published on the website of the journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity, It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: DiscriminationResearch/Study


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