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The Science of Gender Differences: Gender Lay Theory’s Impact on Discrimination Attribution

Klysing, Amanda LU (2017) PSYP01 20171
Department of Psychology
Abstract
The present study investigated how inducing either an essentialist or a social-constructivist lay theory of gender influences discrimination attribution in response to an ambiguous instance of gender discrimination. The 298 Swedish speaking participants were recruited from web forums and exposed to either a biologically focused (N = 151) or a social-constructivist focused (N = 147) scientifically framed text explaining gender differences. After reading the text, participants rated the extent to which they found an ambiguously discriminatory workplace situation to be an instance of gender discrimination. Exposure to the biologically focused text increased biological gender lay theory endorsement and decreased social gender lay theory... (More)
The present study investigated how inducing either an essentialist or a social-constructivist lay theory of gender influences discrimination attribution in response to an ambiguous instance of gender discrimination. The 298 Swedish speaking participants were recruited from web forums and exposed to either a biologically focused (N = 151) or a social-constructivist focused (N = 147) scientifically framed text explaining gender differences. After reading the text, participants rated the extent to which they found an ambiguously discriminatory workplace situation to be an instance of gender discrimination. Exposure to the biologically focused text increased biological gender lay theory endorsement and decreased social gender lay theory endorsement, compared to exposure to the social-constructivist focused text which had the opposite effect. Discrimination attribution was also significantly higher following exposure to the social-constructivist explanation for gender differences, compared to exposure to the biological explanation text. Participants with either a high degree of gender identification or a high degree of reflection regarding gendered behaviour had high discrimination attribution regardless of condition; indicating that personal engagement with the concept of gender buffers negative effects of gender essentialism. The effect of manipulation of gender lay theory on discrimination attribution was mediated by modern sexism, showing that effects of gender lay theory on discrimination attribution is dependent on to what extent gender inequality is seen to be a thing of the past. Results are discussed from a system-justification framework and in terms of implications for the relation between research into gender differences and continued gender inequality. (Less)
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author
Klysing, Amanda LU
supervisor
organization
course
PSYP01 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Scientific reporting, Modern sexism, Gender lay theory, Gender differences, Identity, Discrimination, Gender, Psychological essentialism
language
English
id
8920500
date added to LUP
2017-07-05 10:17:01
date last changed
2017-07-05 10:17:01
@misc{8920500,
  abstract     = {The present study investigated how inducing either an essentialist or a social-constructivist lay theory of gender influences discrimination attribution in response to an ambiguous instance of gender discrimination. The 298 Swedish speaking participants were recruited from web forums and exposed to either a biologically focused (N = 151) or a social-constructivist focused (N = 147) scientifically framed text explaining gender differences. After reading the text, participants rated the extent to which they found an ambiguously discriminatory workplace situation to be an instance of gender discrimination. Exposure to the biologically focused text increased biological gender lay theory endorsement and decreased social gender lay theory endorsement, compared to exposure to the social-constructivist focused text which had the opposite effect. Discrimination attribution was also significantly higher following exposure to the social-constructivist explanation for gender differences, compared to exposure to the biological explanation text. Participants with either a high degree of gender identification or a high degree of reflection regarding gendered behaviour had high discrimination attribution regardless of condition; indicating that personal engagement with the concept of gender buffers negative effects of gender essentialism. The effect of manipulation of gender lay theory on discrimination attribution was mediated by modern sexism, showing that effects of gender lay theory on discrimination attribution is dependent on to what extent gender inequality is seen to be a thing of the past. Results are discussed from a system-justification framework and in terms of implications for the relation between research into gender differences and continued gender inequality.},
  author       = {Klysing, Amanda},
  keyword      = {Scientific reporting,Modern sexism,Gender lay theory,Gender differences,Identity,Discrimination,Gender,Psychological essentialism},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Science of Gender Differences: Gender Lay Theory’s Impact on Discrimination Attribution},
  year         = {2017},
}