"The War on Men": Gendered Reactions to Anti-Male Sexism Claims and the Moderating Role of Group Identification
This research examines how men and women react to men who claim to be victims of anti-male bias. While a number of studies have revealed that claiming discrimination is associated with social costs, (Garcia, Reser, Amo, Redersdorff, & Branscombe, 2005; Kaiser & Miller, 2001), other research suggests that group identification increases perceptions of bias against the ingroup (Major, Quinton, & McCoy, 2002) and that strongly identified group members respond particularly positively to ingroup claimants (Abrams, Marques, Bown, & Henson, 2000; Branscombe, Wann, Noel, & Coleman, 1993; Kaiser, Hagiwara, Malahy, & Wilkins, 2009). Therefore, we designed Study 1 to examine how gender identification moderates reactions toward a man who failed to receive a promotion and either claims the outcome was due to anti-male sexism or another external factor. Consistent with previous work, participants in the discrimination claim condition viewed the target significantly less positively than participants in the no-claim condition. Additionally, men in the discrimination claim condition perceived the claimant more positively the more strongly they identified with their gender group. Women, however, showed the opposite pattern: the more they identified with their gender group, the more negatively they perceived the male claimant. Study 2 revealed that, compared to strongly gender-identified men, strongly identified women perceived the claimant as significantly more sexist and reported more negative behavioral intentions toward the claimant. We discuss how this pattern may perpetuate gender inequality.
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