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Reactions to research on sex differences: Effect of sex favoured, researcher sex, and importance of sex-difference domain.

Steve Stewart‐Williams Orcid Logo, Xiu Ling Wong Orcid Logo, Chern Yi Marybeth Chang Orcid Logo, Andrew Thomas Orcid Logo

British Journal of Psychology

Swansea University Author: Andrew Thomas Orcid Logo

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DOI (Published version): 10.1111/bjop.12580

Abstract

Two studies (total N = 778) looked at (1) how people react to research finding a sex difference depending on whether the research puts men or women in a better light and (2) how well people can predict the average man and average woman's reactions. Participants read a fictional popular-science...

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Published in: British Journal of Psychology
ISSN: 0007-1269 2044-8295
Published: Wiley
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa60311
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Abstract: Two studies (total N = 778) looked at (1) how people react to research finding a sex difference depending on whether the research puts men or women in a better light and (2) how well people can predict the average man and average woman's reactions. Participants read a fictional popular-science article about fictional research finding either a male- or a female-favouring sex difference. The research was credited to either a male or a female lead researcher. In both studies, both sexes reacted less positively to differences favouring males; in contrast to our earlier research, however, the effect was larger among female participants. Contrary to a widespread expectation, participants did not react less positively to research led by a female. Participants did react less positively, though, to research led by a male when the research reported a male-favouring difference in a highly valued trait. Participants judged male-favouring research to be lower in quality than female-favouring research, apparently in large part because they saw the former as more harmful. In both studies, participants predicted that the average man and woman would exhibit substantial own-sex favouritism, with both sexes predicting more own-sex favouritism from the other sex than the other sex predicted from itself. In making these predictions, participants overestimated women's own-sex favouritism, and got the direction of the effect wrong for men. A greater understanding of the tendency to overestimate gender-ingroup bias could help quell antagonisms between the sexes.
Keywords: Gender; Male Privilege; Sex Differences; Sexism; Women Are Wonderful Effect
College: College of Human and Health Sciences