Dahl Vescio and Weaver: Masc Threat and Ideological Dominance Over Women

3 core characteristics of “good men”
1) Power, status, and dominance, especially relative to women (Rudman & Glick 2008)
2) Physical, emotional, and mental toughness (Brannon, 1976; Thompson & Pleck, 1986)
3) Repudiate and distance from femininity (Bosson, Prewitt-Freilino, & Taylor, 2005)
When men fail to embody these three, they risk losing their masculinity status. So they must constantly and publicly demonstrate their masculinity (Bosson & Vandello, 2011; Gilmore, 1990)

Masculinity can be threatened when men are like women in knowledge (Rudman & Fairchild, 2004), personality (Schmitt & Branscombe, 2001), or roles (e.g., Bosson et al.,  2005; Bosson, Vandello, Burnaford, Weaver, & Wasti, 2009).

Gendered power dynamics/differentials are reversed when a woman outperforms a man in a stereotypically masculine domain (Vescio et al 2010)

2 main consequences of masculinity threat
       1) Affective threat response stemming from concern about others’ perceptions

       2) Reparative response to reestablish masculinity in others’ eyes

After performing stereotypically feminine behavior, men have increased accessibility of threat-related cognitions (thoughts related to negative appraisals; Vandello et al 2008) and report concern about being negatively labeled (Rudman & Fairchild 2004)

Increased public discomfort with the thought that others might see them as gay, but that discomfort is lessened when they are able to proclaim their heterosexuality (Bosson et al 2005)

Aggression (which signals toughness, dominance, power, and status) is particularly useful for restoring masculinity (Cohen et al 1996; Bosson & Vandello 2011).
Men in masculinity-threatening situations also engage in other types of aggressive behaviors to compensate for, or ‘‘repair,’’ their masculinity (Babl, 1979), such as sexual
aggression (Maass et al., 2003).

Stereotypes and gender roles function as ideologies that legitimate and justify men’s power over women (see Rudman & Glick, 2008), thereby implicitly subordinating women Gender/sex roles- as in, the roles we are to play in the sexual domain. Those are also ideologies that legitimate and justify men’s power over women, in the workplace, in character stereotypes (men as more competent)… now i want to do it in the bedroom.

When threats to power are responded to via the promotion of such ideologies, rather than open acts of aggression (see Raven, Schwarzwald, & Koslowsky, 1998), members of subordinate groups are more likely to tolerate rather than challenge power differentials (Boehm & Flack, 2010; Jackman, 1994). Because women and men have an interdependent relationship (Rudman and Glick book about how there is a reciprocal relationship) therefore civility and cooperation is necessary, measures taken to be diplomatic and preserve good will as opposed to explicit oppression… therefore, measuring ideological endorsement is relevant. Especially among our white, likely educated and higher ses sample… assessing attitudes over physical aggression is much more appropriate, not to mention feasible. 

So by promoting their certain gender-based ideologies in response to masculinity threat, men are re-asserting their power over women because ideologies serve to provide reasons for why men should dominate (SST justification…) and why women must be subordinate (stereotypes, dehumanization).

They look at three forms of ideologies that they think will be activated after a masculinity threat and endorsed in order to restore masculinity. First: SDO, which legitimizes the idea that some groups deserve more power than others (Sidanius and Pratto 2001). By endorsing SDO, men communicate ideologies that assert their group-based power, thereby restoring their masculinity.

(the other two forms they looked at: benevolent sexism and sexualization of women)
Sexualization (thinking of their body not their person): calls to mind traditional heterosexual courtship ideologies that associate men with dominance and women with submission (Sanchez, Fetterolf, Rudman, 2012). When women are sexualized, they underperform (Gervais, Vescio, & Allen, 2011a & b; Wiener, Gervais, Allen, and Marquez, 2013.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s