Inverse gender gap in Germany: Social dominance orientation among men and women

Küpper B, Zick A (2011)
International Journal of Psychology 46(1): 33-45.

Journal Article | Published | English

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Abstract
Across cultures studies show that men score higher on social dominance orientation than women. This gender gap is considered invariant, but conflicting explanations are discussed: Some authors refer to evolutionary psychology and perceive the gender gap to be driven by sociobiological factors. Other authors argue that social roles or gender-stereotypical self-construals encouraged by intergroup comparisons are responsible for attitudinal gender difference. In Study 1 we analyzed sex differences in social dominance orientation in three German probability surveys (each n 2300). Unexpectedly, the analyses yielded an inverse gender gap with higher values for social dominance orientation in women than in men. Interactions with age, education, political conservatism, and perceived inequity indicated that the inverse gender gap can be mainly attributed to older, conservative, (and less educated) respondents, and those who feel they get their deserved share. In Study 2 we replicated the well-known gender gap with men scoring higher than women in social dominance orientation among German students. Results are interpreted on the basis of biocultural interaction, which integrates the sociobiological, social role, and self-construal perspectives. Our unusual findings seem to reflect a struggle for status by members of low-status groups who consider group-based hierarchy the most promising option to improve their status. While younger women take advantage of a relational, feminine self-construal that leads to lower social dominance orientation in young women than in young men, older women are supposed to profit from an agentic self-construal that results in stronger social dominance orientation values. Specific characteristics of the culture in Germany seem to promote this strategy. Here, we discuss the female ideal of the national socialist period and the agentic female social role in the post-war era necessitated by the absence of men.
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Küpper B, Zick A. Inverse gender gap in Germany: Social dominance orientation among men and women. International Journal of Psychology. 2011;46(1):33-45.
Küpper, B., & Zick, A. (2011). Inverse gender gap in Germany: Social dominance orientation among men and women. International Journal of Psychology, 46(1), 33-45.
Küpper, B., and Zick, A. (2011). Inverse gender gap in Germany: Social dominance orientation among men and women. International Journal of Psychology 46, 33-45.
Küpper, B., & Zick, A., 2011. Inverse gender gap in Germany: Social dominance orientation among men and women. International Journal of Psychology, 46(1), p 33-45.
B. Küpper and A. Zick, “Inverse gender gap in Germany: Social dominance orientation among men and women”, International Journal of Psychology, vol. 46, 2011, pp. 33-45.
Küpper, B., Zick, A.: Inverse gender gap in Germany: Social dominance orientation among men and women. International Journal of Psychology. 46, 33-45 (2011).
Küpper, Beate, and Zick, Andreas. “Inverse gender gap in Germany: Social dominance orientation among men and women”. International Journal of Psychology 46.1 (2011): 33-45.
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