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EVIDENCE THAT GENDER DIFFERENCES IN SOCIAL DOMINANCE ORIENTATION RESULT FROM GENDERED SELF-STEREOTYPING AND GROUP-INTERESTED RESPONSES TO PATRIARCHY

Authors


  • Michael T. Schmitt, Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University; James H. Wirth, Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Michael T. Schmitt, Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada. E-mail: mschmitt@sfu.ca

Abstract

Numerous studies have found that, compared to women, men express higher levels of social dominance orientation (SDO), an individual difference variable reflecting support for unequal, hierarchical relationships between groups. Recent research suggests that the often-observed gender difference in SDO results from processes related to gender group identity. We hypothesized that two aspects of gender group identity could account for men's higher SDO relative to women's: responses to patriarchy that reflect the interests of the gender ingroup (as measured by hostile and benevolent sexism) and self-stereotyping in gendered terms. We found the gender difference in SDO was fully mediated by gender differences in feminine self-stereotyping, hostile sexism, and benevolent sexism. The discussion addresses implications for social dominance theory's treatment of gender and the complexity of social-contextual forces that produce gender differences in SDO.

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