Sex Roles

, Volume 37, Issue 3–4, pp 227–249 | Cite as

Power, Empowerment, and Equality: Evidence for the Motives of Feminists, Nonfeminists, and Antifeminists

  • Lori J. Nelson
  • Sandra B. Shanahan
  • Jennifer Olivetti


Both feminists and antifeminists claim they do not seek to dominate others, and accuse their ideological opponents of an insidious desire for power. The purpose of this study was to examine the motives of feminists, nonfeminists, and antifeminists by assessing their values in a context in which they would not feel that their motives regarding feminism were being scrutinized. Participants were 126 mostly European-American students. Antifeminist men placed more emphasis on their own power than did other men; but antifeminist, nonfeminist, and feminist women did not differ in emphasis placed on power. Among both men and women, antifeminists placed little importance on equality. Feminist women placed more importance on equality than did nonfeminist women, who in turn placed more importance on equality than did antifeminist women.


Social Psychology Feminist Woman Ideological Opponent 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lori J. Nelson
    • 1
  • Sandra B. Shanahan
    • 2
  • Jennifer Olivetti
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyShippensburg UniversityShippensburg
  2. 2.Shippensburg UniversityUSA

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