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A Role Congruity Perspective on Prejudice Toward Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin


  • This work was supported by a Grants-in-Aid Award from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) awarded to the first author.

Sarah J. Gervais, Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68588–0308 [e-mail:].


This research compares prejudice toward female politicians Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin through the lens of role congruity theory. We measured participants’ evaluations of stereotypicality, competence, warmth, and voting likelihood. Consistent with hypotheses, Clinton was evaluated as less stereotypically feminine and less warm than Palin, whereas Palin was evaluated as less competent than Clinton. Furthermore, participant gender, benevolent sexism, hostile sexism, and political orientation predicted differential voting likelihood for Clinton and Palin. Implications for role congruity, ambivalent sexism, and female politicians are discussed.