Perceptions of Gender Discrimination across Six Decades: The Moderating Roles of Gender and Age

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgment

Thanks are extended to Björn A. Kahrs and Lisa A. Paul for comments on an earlier version of this paper.

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Correspondence to Andre Kehn.

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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

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Keywords

  • Gender discrimination
  • Zero-sum view
  • Gender differences
  • Age differences