Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Adult men view criminal records as less of a hindrance to partner selection than adult women

She’s Not That into You: Speed Dating with a Criminal Record. Douglas N. Evans & Noreen Ali. Corrections, Mar 13 2023. https://doi.org/10.1080/23774657.2023.2190550

Abstract: Prosocial relationships are beneficial to post-conviction reintegration, but criminal stigma may limit romantic relationship access. This study implements an experimental audit of speed dating, which allows people to meet several potential partners in a brief time, to explore how conviction disclosure, offense type, and attractiveness and personality ratings affect dating interest. Three women and three men confederates of different races/ethnicities were randomly assigned to a control or one of three offense conditions before interacting one-on-one with 64 participants in 4-minute Zoom Q&A speed dating sessions. Following each interaction, participants rated one another on attractiveness, personality dimensions, and interest in dating. Findings indicate that disclosure of property offense conviction significantly reduced women’s willingness to date men confederates while assault and drug convictions did not negatively affect women’s dating interest. Women confederate disclosures of convictions did not affect men’s interest in dating them. Researching the effects of prior convictions on romantic relationship interest is challenging but important in revealing how criminal stigma varies by offense type to affect relationship capital.

Keywords: Speed datingcriminal history disclosureraceattractivenessstigma

Worth the Risk? Greater Acceptance of Instrumental Harm Befalling Men than Women

Worth the Risk? Greater Acceptance of Instrumental Harm Befalling Men than Women. Maja Graso, Tania Reynolds & Karl Aquino. Archives of Sexual Behavior, March 17 2023. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-023-02571-0

Abstract: Scientific and organizational interventions often involve trade-offs whereby they benefit some but entail costs to others (i.e., instrumental harm; IH). We hypothesized that the gender of the persons incurring those costs would influence intervention endorsement, such that people would more readily support interventions inflicting IH onto men than onto women. We also hypothesized that women would exhibit greater asymmetries in their acceptance of IH to men versus women. Three experimental studies (two pre-registered) tested these hypotheses. Studies 1 and 2 granted support for these predictions using a variety of interventions and contexts. Study 3 tested a possible boundary condition of these asymmetries using contexts in which women have traditionally been expected to sacrifice more than men: caring for infants, children, the elderly, and the ill. Even in these traditionally female contexts, participants still more readily accepted IH to men than women. Findings indicate people (especially women) are less willing to accept instrumental harm befalling women (vs. men). We discuss the theoretical and practical implications and limitations of our findings.

General Discussion

The current investigation sought to examine whether people were more willing to endorse interventions when IH was borne by men than women. Our first two studies supported this premise. Importantly, however, our results showed that this asymmetry was driven primarily by women, but not men, being more likely to accept IH to men than to women across a variety of contexts (i.e., supporting Hypothesis 2). Study 3 tested a boundary condition to this gender bias in harm tolerance: stereotypically female caregiving contexts. When instrumental harm benefitted vulnerable individuals (e.g., infants, young children, sick, or the elderly), both men and women exhibited a bias in their willingness to accept IH to men versus women (i.e., supporting Hypothesis 1; not supporting Hypothesis 3). That is, contrary to what might be expected by historical gender roles (Eagly & Wood, 1999), people believed men ought to bear greater costs, even in traditionally female sacrificial domains.

Theoretical and Practical Implications

Our findings offer four contributions. First, we extended the literature on gender and harm endorsement, which has primarily emphasized high-conflict sacrificial dilemmas involving questions of life or death (e.g., FeldmanHall et al., 2016; Skulmowski et al., 2014). The current findings revealed this gender bias persists in highly consequential, yet understudied domains: assessments of beneficial interventions carrying negative externalities across a variety of contexts: medical, psychological, educational, sexual, and caregiving. Second, we demonstrated that when evaluating interventions, female participants were more likely than male participants to accept IH borne by men than women. This pattern lends further support to the well-documented finding that women have a stronger in-group bias than men (e.g., Glick et al., 2004; Rudman & Goodwin, 2004) and are more likely to perceive one another as victims than perpetrators (Reynolds et al., 2020). This disparity suggests women may prioritize one another’s welfare over men’s in the construction or approval of social, educational, medical, and occupational interventions. If so, female policymakers might be especially wary of advancing policies or initiatives risking harm to other women, but less so when they risk harming men.

Third, we tested a boundary condition to this gender bias by investigating contexts previously unstudied in sacrificial dilemmas: stereotypically female caregiving roles. Although consideration of gender stereotypes and role congruence (Eagly & Wood, 1999) might predict a greater tolerance for female sacrifice in such contexts, men and women alike were more tolerant of IH incurred by men (versus women). These patterns suggest that although women traditionally fill and sacrifice in these roles, people may not necessarily endorse that ought to be the case. Rather, our results align with emerging evidence documenting diminished concern for men’s suffering due to a greater tendency to stereotype men as perpetrators rather than victims (Reynolds et al., 2020).

Fourth, our findings identified individual-level factors that contribute to asymmetries in harm tolerance. Namely, Studies 2 and 3 revealed that individuals more strongly endorsing egalitarian, feminist, or liberal ideologies exhibited greater disparities in their acceptance of instrumental harm, such that they more readily tolerated instrumental harm borne by men. These patterns suggest those most concerned about rectify- ing historical injustices might most ardently oppose explora- tory interventions potentially providing long-term benefits to women.

Limitations, Emerging Questions, and Future Directions

Although the current investigation has its strengths (e.g., consistent results across varied contexts, within and between-person designs, diverse beneficiaries, pre-registrations), it is not without limitations. First, future investigations might profit, for example, from examining contexts that explicitly signal one’s willingness to sacrifice on behalf of others (e.g., voluntary military service or blood donation) to determine the generalizability of these patterns. Second, our conclusions are limited by our reliance on American MTurk and CloudResearch users. Thus, our results might not generalize to other contexts and cultures. Indeed, changes in stereotypes over time (Charlesworth & Banaji, 2022), and cultural differences in norms surrounding masculinity and femininity might shift beliefs about the value of IH incurred by men versus women (see Glick et al., 2004 for a cross-cultural comparison of attitudes toward men and women). Examining whether the reluctance to expose women to instrumental harm emerges across cultures remains an open avenue for future work. Moreover, our data were collected during the earlier days of COVID-19, which could have influenced the composition or motivations of our samples (Arechar & Rand, 2021). Thus, replication is warranted before strong conclusions can be inferred.

Fourth, although the results of Studies 1 and 2 consistently revealed women’s gender bias in instrumental harm acceptance, their methods could not disentangle whether the bias more strongly emerged from an aversion toward harming women or a desire to benefit women. That is, because both studies pit harm to one sex against the benefit to the other, it is unclear which more strongly contributed to these findings. That Study 3’s female participants (along with male) more readily tolerated men’s (versus women’s) suffering in contexts benefitting vulnerable individuals (rather than women) suggests the possibility Studies 1 and 2’s results reflected women’s greater aversion to harming fellow women, rather than a motivation to benefit them per se. Nonetheless, future research might examine interventions whereby only one sex is benefitted or harmed to adjudicate the relative contribution of these two factors.

Altogether, our findings point to potentially consequential implications for laypeople’s perceptions of exploratory interventions and programs. The asymmetry we documented may place disparate pressures on researchers and policymakers to intervene experimentally on men’s versus women’s afflictions in ways that minimize instrumental harm to women. The biases uncovered here suggest the possibility that women were excluded historically from exploratory research due to an aversion toward inflicting instrumental harm onto women, such as in medicine (Holdcroft, 2007). This ultimately proved costly to women, as men’s overrepresentation in medical research yielded treatments more effective among men than women (Holdcroft, 2007). Thus, although such an aversion may have benefitted women in the short term because women were spared incidental harm imposed by risky experiments, in the long run, experimentation on men unearthed medical and safety advancements better suited for male bodies. Experimental examinations and interventions carry both costs and benefits. If, as our results suggest, people are less willing to accept instrumental harm befalling women, women might lose out on the long-term benefits of such experimental endeavors.

Throughout history, countless male lives have been sacrificed on the battlefield, ostensibly to promote the greater good (Baumeister, 2010). Our findings suggest that these sentiments persist beyond the field of combat. For many people, accepting instrumental harm to men is perceived as worth the cost to advance other social aims. We invite researchers to further investigate how individuals appraise the value of suffering and whether those appraisals differ across target characteristics. A deeper understanding of the biases embedded in such calculations may minimize the unforeseen and unintended consequences of those preferences, thereby reducing harm to men and women alike.

We found a significant increase in pseudo-event coverage, expressing a more positive tone than genuine event coverage; moreover, political pseudo-event coverage shows quadrennial cycles with peaks in each presidential election year

Pseudo-events: Tracking mediatization with machine learning over 40 years. Mengyao Xu, Lingshu Hu, Amanda Hinnant. Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 144, July 2023, 107735. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2023.107735

Abstract: Using automated content analysis, this research explores the phenomenon of pseudo-events coverage in The New York Times (N = 70,370 articles) from 1980 to 2019. By clarifying the operationalization of pseudo-events, this study introduces pseudo-events as a valuable tool to index how different social subsystems perpetuate mediatization (which is when institutions absorb and abide by media logic). Machine-learning classifiers were constructed to measure pseudo-events, which provides historicity, specificity, and measurability — three tasks set forth for new mediatization research. We found a significant increase in pseudo-event coverage, expressing a more positive tone than genuine event coverage. Moreover, political pseudo-event coverage shows quadrennial cycles with peaks in each presidential election year. Our findings reveal the expansion of mediatization since 1980 and show how media logic has been internalized in different ways by the social subsystems of politics, culture, and economics. Institutions and their social actors need efficient tools to abide by media logic in seeking publicity and commanding authority, and pseudo-events have matured into one of the most dominant tools, especially for political actors. This study offers an innovative approach to capture complex phenomena and shows promises of broader application of machine learning to empirically quantify and identify patterns using theoretical concepts.