Sunday, July 8, 2018

Men & women more strongly blamed men for their own disadvantages, were more supportive of policies that favored women, & donated more to a female-only (vs male-only) homeless shelter. Females showed a stronger in-group bias, perceiving women's harm as more problematic

Man up and take it: Greater concern for female than male suffering. Tania Reynolds, Hallgeir Sjåstad, Chuck Howard, Tyler Okimoto, Roy Baumeister, Karl Aquino, JongHan Kim. Human Behavior and Evolution Society, 30th Annual Meeting, July 2018. http://www.hbes.com/conference/hbes2018/

Throughout human history, women set the upper limit on reproduction. Women's greater physiological contribution to reproduction may have favored psychological mechanisms within individuals aimed at protecting women from harm. Across 5 studies, we tested the prediction that harm to women would evoke greater concern and outrage than equivalent harm to men. In Study 1, participants more readily assumed an unspecified harmed target was a woman than a man, but especially if the terms 'victim/perpetrator' were used. In Study 2, participants expected both female victims and female perpetrators to experience mo re pain than male victims or perpetrators. They were also less willing to forgive and more strongly desired to punish male perpetrators. Using a variety of social scenarios (e.g., affirmative action, sex-biased careers), Studies 3-5 found female harm or di sadvantage evoked more sympathy and outrage and was perceived as more unfair than equivalent male harm or disadvantage. Participants more strongly blamed men for their own disadvantages, were more supportive of policies that favored women, and donated more to a female-only (vs male-only) homeless shelter. Female participants showed a stronger in-group bias, perceiving women's harm as more problematic and more strongly endorsed policies that favored women.

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