Political Ideology Outdoes Personal Experience in Predicting Support for Gender Equality

A. Timur Sevincer, Cindy Galinsky, Lena Martensen, Gabriele Oettingen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Indices of gender equality provide an inconsistent picture of current gender inequality in countries with relatively high equality. We examined women's and men's subjectively perceived gender inequality and their support for gender equality in the general population and in politicians, respectively, in three countries with relatively high gender equality: the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany (total N = 1,612). In both women's and men's perceptions, women were treated more unequally than men. However, the inequality that women perceived was larger than the inequality men perceived. Additionally, women reported they personally experience less inequality than women as a group (person-group discrepancy). Finally, women's and men's left/liberal (vs. right/conservative) political ideology turned out to be a relatively more powerful predictor of support for gender equality than perceived personal and societal inequality. We discuss reasons for why political ideology emerged as the strongest predictor of equality support and sketch out implications for policy efforts toward promoting gender equality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)829-855
Number of pages27
JournalPolitical Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • gender equality
  • perceived inequality
  • person-group discrepancy
  • pluralistic ignorance
  • political ideology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science and International Relations


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