Psychologists from Case Western Reserve University and San Diego State University discovered men with such a sense of entitlement are more likely to endorse hostile views of women, and entitled women are more likely to endorse views of women as frail and needing extra care.
The researchers found that, for men, entitlement was associated with hostile views of women. Entitled men were more likely to endorse views of women as manipulative, deceptive, and untrustworthy — attitudes that past research has shown are predictors of violence toward women.
Conversely, the researchers found women who have a high sense of entitlement are likely to demand men take care of them because they are weak and frail.
A large body of research shows that such demands lead to women being viewed as too weak and placed in roles where they are not allowed to advance in education and jobs.
Investigators studied two groups: students from an introductory psychology class at a Midwest college and 437 adults participating in Amazon’s Mechanical Turk workforce database, an online database of individuals who often participate in social science research, among other tasks. Both groups included men and women.
Researchers administered an online survey to explore individuals’ attitudes about how deserving they are of special treatment as well as their openness to new experiences.
Investigators discovered participants in both groups exhibited beliefs of entitlement related to benevolent sexism in women and hostile sexism in men.
There were also associations, to smaller degrees, in the relationships between entitlement and hostile sexism in women and benevolent sexism in men.
Lead author and graduate student Joshua Grubbs explained the study’s results in the journal Sex Roles. Grubbs collaborated with co-investigators and psychologists Drs. Julie Exline and Jean Twenge to understand the personality trait of narcissism.
This study builds on Twenge’s findings that narcissistic attitudes in the U.S. have increased in recent years.
In that prior study, Twenge found that individuals in their 20s were three times more narcissistic than those over the age of 60.
They focused on two forms of sexism (hostile and benevolent) and how feelings of entitlement might predict those roles differently for men and women.
In general, entitled men were more prone to exhibiting hostile sexism, indicating that they viewed women as manipulative and demanding.
In contrast, entitled women exhibited benevolent sexism, indicating that they think women deserve special care and treatment.
“When you consider that entitlement has been shown to be rising across recent generations, linking it to sexist attitudes is particularly alarming,” Grubbs said.
“Recent events certainly highlight how dangerous entitlement and hostile sexism can be in men. Furthermore, given that benevolent sexism can also produce gender inequality, these findings for women are also concerning.”
Source: Case Western Reserve University