Gender Inequality and Gender Differences in Authoritarianism

Mark J. Brandt, P. J. Henry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Authoritarianism may be endorsed in part as a means of managing and buffering psychological threats (e.g., Duckitt & Fisher, 2003; Henry, 2011). Building on this research, the authors postulated that authoritarianism should be especially prevalent among women in societies with high levels of gender inequality because they especially face more psychological threats associated with stigma compared with men. After establishing that authoritarianism is, in part, a response to rejection, a psychological threat associated with stigma (Study 1), the authors used multilevel modeling to analyze data from 54 societies to find that women endorsed authoritarian values more than men, especially in individualistic societies with high levels of gender inequality (Study 2). Results show that the threats of stigma for women are not uniform across different cultures and that the degree of stigma is related to the degree of endorsement of psychologically protective attitudes such as authoritarianism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1301-1315
Number of pages15
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • authoritarianism
  • gender differences
  • gender inequality
  • social status
  • stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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