Sex Roles

, Volume 77, Issue 9–10, pp 687–696 | Cite as

A Social Dominance Theory Perspective on Attitudes Toward Girl Child Marriages in Turkey: The Legitimizing Role of Ambivalent Sexism

  • Meryem Kaynak Malatyalı
  • Bağdat Deniz Kaynak
  • Derya Hasta
Original Article


The girl child marriage practice (a forced marriage involving a young woman under age 18) is a serious problem in Turkey as it is in many developing countries. It is important to investigate the reasons behind individuals’ support for girl child marriages. The aim of the present study is to examine attitudes toward girl child marriages in Turkey within the perspective of social dominance theory (Sidanius and Pratto 1999). Namely, we investigate the relationship between social dominance orientation and attitudes toward girl child marriages. We also examine the mediating role of ambivalent sexism (both hostile and benevolent) in this association. Students (N = 388) from two universities in Ankara completed the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory, the Social Dominance Orientation (SDO) Scale, and our Attitudes toward Girl Child Marriages Scale. Results indicate that men have more positive attitudes toward girl child marriages than women do. In addition, SDO predicts positive attitudes toward girl child marriages. Also, hostile, but not benevolent, sexism mediates the relationship between SDO and attitudes toward girl child marriages. The present study shows that those who endorse male dominance and gender inequality also have more positive attitudes toward girl child marriages. It also shows that these people draw on their hostile attitudes toward women in order to legitimize these kinds of marriages.


Attitudes toward girl child marriages Sexism Gender equality Dominance Ambivalent sexism Turkey 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Animal Studies

This chapter does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

11199_2017_750_MOESM1_ESM.docx (35 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 34 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meryem Kaynak Malatyalı
    • 1
  • Bağdat Deniz Kaynak
    • 1
  • Derya Hasta
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Letters, Department of PsychologyAnkara UniversityAnkaraTurkey

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