“When boys will be boys, should women be women (and know their place?)” Research under review

Title: “When boys will be boys, should women be women (and know their place?)” Research under review

Authors: Lea Skewes (Aarhus University), Cordelia Fine & Nick Haslam (University of Melbourne)

Summary: It has been argued that gender essentialism impedes progress towards greater gender equality. In this project, we developed the first gender essentialism scale (GES), and validated it in two large nationally representative samples from Denmark and Australia. In both samples the GES predicted lack of support for sex-role egalitarianism, support for gender discrimination and the perceived fairness of gender-based treatment, independently of social dominance orientation and political orientation. In addition, the GES moderated some manifestations of the backlash effect: high essentialists were more likely to respond negatively towards a power-seeking female political candidate relative to a male candidate. Given the implications for possible workplace interventions, further work could usefully explore whether GE moderates other well-established forms of gender bias.