Feminist and sympathetic feminist consciousness



Data from the 1976 American National Election Study were used to assess the effects of one outgroup characteristic, belief similarity—dissimilarity, on the enhancement of women's feminist consciousness. Women were focused on as the ingroup and men as the outgroup. The sample consisted of 677 women who believed that women should have an equal role with men. Outgroup belief similarity referred to women's perception that most men supported an equal role for women and outgroup dissimilarity to the perception that men did not support an equal role. Results indicated that outgroup belief similarity significantly enhanced women's feminist consciousness. Women who supported an equal role and perceived outgroup belief dissimilarity scored higher on cognitive and behavioural measures of feminist consciousness than those who supported an equal role but did not perceive outgroup dissimilarity. Secondary analyses were undertaken assessing the effect of ingroup belief similarity dissimilarity on the enhancement of sympathetic feminist consciousness among men.