In the current paper we examined whether women and men view gender discrimination as having changed over time, and if so: 1) how it has changed and 2) whether changes in anti-women bias are viewed as directly associated with changes in anti-men bias. Based on prior research (Norton and Sommers, 2011; Sidanius and Pratto, 1999), it was hypothesized that older men (35 years and older) compared to younger men (18–34 years of age) would hold a zero-sum view of gender discrimination trends in that older men would perceive increases in anti-men bias to accompany decreases in anti-women bias. Conversely, women, regardless of age, were expected to perceive changes in anti-women bias as unrelated to changes in anti-men bias. Results based on data from an online U.S. national sample (n = 499) supported the hypotheses for older men (n = 58), younger men (n = 160), older women (n = 96) and younger women (n = 185) and corroborated parallel past findings that the historically dominant social group (older men in this case) perceive any status gained by a socially subordinate group (women) as coming at the dominant group’s expense.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Brandt, M. (2011). Sexism and gender inequality across 57 societies. Psychological Science, 22, 1413–1418. doi:10.1177/0956797611420445.
Buhrmester, M., Kwang, T., & Gosling, S. D. (2011). Amazon's Mechanical Turk: A new source of inexpensive, yet high-quality, data? Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6, 3–5. doi:10.1177/1745691610393980.
Caricati, L. (2007). The relationship between social dominance orientation and gender: The mediating role of social values. Sex Roles, 57, 159–171. doi:10.1007/s11199-007- 9231–3.
Catalyst. (2012a). U.S. women in business. Retrieved from http://www.catalyst.org/publication/132/us-women-in-business
Catalyst. (2012b).Women in the sciences. Retrieved from http://www.catalyst.org/publication/209/women-in-the-sciences
DeNavas-Walt, C., Proctor, B. D., & Smith, J. C. (2011). Income, poverty, and health insurance coverage in the United States: 2011 (U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Reports, P60–226). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Etaugh, C., & Spiller, B. (1989). Attitudes toward women: Comparison of traditional-aged and older college students. Journal of College Student Development, 30, 41–46.
Foels, R., & Reid, L. D. (2010). Gender differences in social dominance orientation: The role of cognitive complexity. Sex Roles, 62, 684–692. doi:10.1007/s11199-010-9775-5.
Glick, P., & Fiske, S. T. (1996). The Ambivalent Sexism Inventory: Differentiating hostile and benevolent sexism. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 491–512. doi:10.1037/0022-3518.104.22.1681.
Guimond, S., Dambrun, M., Michinov, N., & Duarte, S. (2003). Does social dominance generate prejudice? Integrating individual and contextual determinants of intergroup cognitions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 697–721. doi:10.1037/0022- 3522.214.171.1247.
Heaven, P. L., Organ, L., Supavadeeprasit, S., & Leeson, P. (2006). War and prejudice: A study of social values, right-wing authoritarianism, and social dominance orientation. Personality and Individual Differences, 40, 599–608. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2005.08.005.
Hegewisch, A., Williams, C., & Zhang, A. (2011). The gender wage gap: 2011 (Fact Sheet No. IWPR #C350). Retrieved from Institute for Women’s Policy Research http://www.iwpr.org/initiatives/pay-equity-and-discrimination/#publications
Jackson, R. M. (1998). Destined for equality: The inevitable rise of women’s status. MA: Cambridge.
Jones, J. (2005). Gender differences in views of job opportunity: The Gallup Poll. Princeton: The Gallup Organization.
Jost, J. T., & Banaji, M. R. (1994). The role of stereotyping in system-justification and the production of false consciousness. British Journal of Social Psychology, 33, 1–27. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8309.1994.tb01008.x.
Jost, J. T., Banaji, M. R., & Nosek, B. A. (2004). A decade of System Justification Theory: Accumulated evidence of conscious and unconscious bolstering of the status quo. Political Psychology, 25, 881–920. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9221.2004.00402.x.
Lips, H. M. (2003). The gender pay gap: Concrete indicator of women's progress toward equality. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 3, 87–109. doi:10.1111/j.1530- 2415.2003.00016.x.
McEwen, M. K. (1991). Biographical correlates of student leaders’ attitudes toward women. Journal of College Student Development, 31, 500–508.
Mookherjee, H. N. (1995). Attitudes of Tennessee college students toward women. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 80, 863–866. doi:10.2466/pms.19126.96.36.1993.
Nash, J. F. (1950). The bargaining problem. Econometrica, 18, 155–162.
Norton, M. I., & Sommers, S. R. (2011). Whites see racism as a zero-sum game that they are not losing. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6, 215–218. doi:10.1177/1745691611406922.
Pratto, F., Sidanius, J., Stallworth, L. M., & Malle, B. F. (1994). Social dominance orientation: A personality variable predicting social and political attitudes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67, 741–763. doi:10.1037/0022-35188.8.131.521.
Schmitt, M. T., & Wirth, J. H. (2009). Evidence that gender differences in social dominance orientation result from gendered self-stereotyping and group-interested responses to patriarchy. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 33, 429–436. doi:10.1111/j.1471-6402.2009.01520.x.
Sibley, C. G., & Perry, R. (2010). An opposing process model of benevolent sexism. Sex Roles, 62, 438–452. doi:10.1007/s11199-009-9705-6.
Sibley, C. G., Robertson, A., & Wilson, M. S. (2006). Social Dominance Orientation and Right Wing Authoritarianism: Additive and Interactive Effects. Political Psychology, 27, 755–768. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9221.2006.00531.x.
Sidanius, J., & Pratto, F. (1999). Social dominance: An intergroup theory of social hierarchy and oppression. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Sidanius, J., Pratto, F., & Bobo, L. (1994). Social dominance orientation and the political psychology of gender: A case of invariance? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67, 998–1011. doi:10.1037/0022-35184.108.40.2068.
Sidanius, J., Sinclair, S., & Pratto, F. (2006). Social Dominance Orientation, Gender, and Increasing Educational Exposure. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 36, 1640–1653. doi:10.1111/j.0021-9029.2006.00074.x.
Stephens, N. M., & Levine, C. S. (2011). Opting out or denying discrimination? How the framework of free choice in American society influences perceptions of gender inequality. Psychological Science, 22, 1231–1236. doi:10.1177/0956797611417260.
U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (December 2011).Women in the labor force: A databook. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/cps/wlf-databook2011.htm
Zawisza, M., Luyt, R., & Zawadzka, A. (2012). Ambivalence toward men: Comparing sexism among polish, South African and British university students. Sex Roles, 66, 453–467. doi:10.1007/s11199-011-0112-4.
Thanks are extended to Björn A. Kahrs and Lisa A. Paul for comments on an earlier version of this paper.
About this article
Cite this article
Kehn, A., Ruthig, J.C. Perceptions of Gender Discrimination across Six Decades: The Moderating Roles of Gender and Age. Sex Roles 69, 289–296 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-013-0303-2
- Gender discrimination
- Zero-sum view
- Gender differences
- Age differences