Economic Inequality and Masculinity–Femininity: The Prevailing Perceived Traits in Higher Unequal Contexts Are Masculine
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Economic inequalityMasculinityFemininityStereotypes (Social psychology)
Moreno-Bella E, Willis GB and Moya M (2019) Economic Inequality and Masculinity–Femininity: The Prevailing Perceived Traits in Higher Unequal Contexts Are Masculine. Front. Psychol. 10:1590.
SponsorshipThis research was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness [Ref. PSI2014-59659-R and Ref. PSI2017-83966-R (MINECO/AEI/FEDER/UE)] and by a Grant (FPU15/06126) from the FPU Program of the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sport.
Previous studies have shown that economic inequality influences psychological processes. In this article, we argue that economic inequality also makes masculine attributes more prototypical. In Study 1 (N = 106), using an experimental design, we showed that individuals belonging to a society characterized by a higher level of economic inequality are perceived as more masculine than feminine. Study 2 (N = 75) shows, also experimentally, that the upper social class is perceived mostly in terms of masculine traits, and that this effect is greater when economic inequality is relatively high. Conversely, the lower social class is more clearly perceived in terms of feminine traits. These results inform our understanding of the impact of economic inequality on social perception.