Psychological Entitlement and Ambivalent Sexism: Understanding the Role of Entitlement in Predicting Two Forms of Sexism
Recent research has shown that narcissistic men in the United States express more ambivalent sexism than their non-narcissistic counterparts. The present study sought to extend these findings by hypothesizing that psychological entitlement would be a predictor of ambivalent sexism but that that this relationship may vary by gender. Given entitlement’s associations with hostility and aggression and the previously established link between narcissism and sexism in men, we hypothesized that entitlement would predict hostile sexism in men. Given that entitlement is characterized by a pervasive sense of deservingness for special treatment and goods, we expected that entitled women would endorse attitudes of benevolent sexism. These hypotheses were tested using two cross-sectional samples in the U.S.—a sample of undergraduates from a private university in the Midwest (N = 333) and a web-based sample of adults across the U.S. (N = 437). Results from regression analyses confirmed that psychological entitlement is a robust predictor of ambivalent sexism, above and beyond known predictors of sexism such as low openness and relevant covariates such as impression management. In addition, entitlement was a consistent predictor of benevolent sexism in women, but not in men, and a consistent predictor of hostile sexism in men, but not in women. These relationships were largely robust, persisting even when relevant covariates (e.g., socially desirable responding, trait openness) were controlled statistically, although in one sample the link between entitlement and hostile sexism in men was reduced to non-significance when benevolent sexism was controlled for statistically. Implications of these findings are discussed.