Sex Roles

, Volume 77, Issue 3–4, pp 141–154 | Cite as

Intersectional Masculinities and Gendered Political Consciousness: How Do Race, Ethnicity and Sexuality Shape Men’s Awareness of Gender Inequality and Support for Gender Activism?

  • Catherine E. HarnoisEmail author
Original Article


Gendered political consciousness refers to having an awareness of gender inequality, viewing this inequality as illegitimate, and supporting collective efforts to bring about greater gender equality. The present study draws from social psychology, theories of masculinities, and intersectionality to assess the factors associated with men’s political consciousness of gender. Multivariate regression analyses of data from the U.S.-based 2012 Evaluations of Government and Society Study (N = 598) (American National Election American National Election Study 2012) highlights how social statuses of race/ethnicity and sexuality—along with beliefs about racial/ethnic and sexuality-based inequalities—correlate with men’s awareness of gender inequality and support for women fighting for greater gender equality. Results show that Non-Hispanic Black men and married men are significantly more likely than are non-Hispanic White men and unmarried men to see high levels of gender inequality. Men who see high levels of racial/ethnic and sexuality-based inequalities are also significantly more likely to perceive high levels of gender inequality. Bivariate analyses show that Non-Hispanic Black men, as well as men who see high levels of other inequalities, are also more likely than are other men to support women fighting for greater gender equality, but in multivariate regression models these effects are eclipsed by political ideology—the single best predictor of men’s support for women fighting for gender equality. Results underscore the need to differentiate awareness of gender inequality and support for efforts to challenge gender inequality, and they highlight the potential of intersectionality for conceptualizing men’s gendered political consciousness.


Gendered political consciousness Intersectionality Masculinity Social psychology Identity Race Gender Sexuality Sex role attitudes 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of Wake Forest University.

Conflict of Interest

The author has no potential conflicts of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyWake Forest UniversityWinston-SalemUSA

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