Status Incongruity Hypothesis In The Defense Of Gender Hierarchy

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In line with this research, Rudman, Moss-Racusin, Phelan, and Nauts (2012), utilized status incongruity hypothesis to perform a study on the defense of gender hierarchy as it relates to backlash against female leaders who exhibit agency. The researchers highlighted the roles of prescriptive and proscriptive gender stereotypes in their first study, which served to provide the framework for their other studies. In the first study, participants completed an online questionnaire and were randomly assigned to complete one of six surveys that measured the relationship between prescriptive and proscriptive stereotypes and social status. The results from this questionnaire indicated that while men are expected to exhibit high status and agentic traits, …show more content…
Specifically, it was hypothesized that agentic women would be rated as higher in proscriptive leadership traits than men, which would negatively impact their likeability as leaders. A sample of undergraduate students reviewed information on job candidates up for a promotion, which were manipulated so that participants were either reading the letter of a male or female candidate, who were portrayed as either agentic or communal. The results provided support for the hypothesis that agentic women would be less likeable than agentic men, and seemed to indicate that women could minimize the repercussions from backlash if they handled their success in a way that diminished their agency (Rudman et al, 2012). The remaining studies continued to build upon status incongruity hypothesis, but one other important result to note was that women also had a tendency to view …show more content…
(2004) posited that individuals seem to prefer to remain in their comfort zone by having the mindset that women are less competent and achievement oriented than men, and when evidence of this is contrary to their beliefs, rather than changing their mindset, women are penalized for their success. The purpose of the second study was to extend the findings of the first study as it relates to the likeability of women in industries typically considered a male domain. The hypothesis for study 2 was that while women would be deemed less likeable in these situations, this effect would be mitigated in an industry considered feminine or neutral. Results from this study, which had the same experimental procedure as study 1, provided support for this hypothesis, and the authors suggest that this results from violation of gender norms because men were also subjected to prejudice when successful in stereotypical feminine domain. The authors were careful to point out that form this prejudice takes and the actual repercussions are likely different for men than for women, because men are more likely to be disrespected while women were most likely to be disliked (Heilman et al., 2004). The third study explored the likeability factor in more depth, specifically as likeability relates to potential rewards. This sample included working adults, and a 2 x 2 x 2 factorial design was utilized to measure and compare the sex of the employee, their perceived competence, and levels of

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