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Insights into Sexism: Male Status and Performance Moderates Female-Directed Hostile and Amicable Behaviour.

Kasumovic MM, Kuznekoff JH - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: We suggest that low-status males increase female-directed hostility to minimize the loss of status as a consequence of hierarchical reconfiguration resulting from the entrance of a woman into the competitive arena.Higher-skilled players, in contrast, were more positive towards a female relative to a male teammate.Our results provide the clearest picture of inter-sexual competition to date, highlighting the importance of considering an evolutionary perspective when exploring the factors that affect male hostility towards women.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Ecology and Evolution Research Centre, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, 2052, Australia.

ABSTRACT
Gender inequality and sexist behaviour is prevalent in almost all workplaces and rampant in online environments. Although there is much research dedicated to understanding sexist behaviour, we have almost no insight into what triggers this behaviour and the individuals that initiate it. Although social constructionist theory argues that sexism is a response towards women entering a male dominated arena, this perspective doesn't explain why only a subset of males behave in this way. We argue that a clearer understanding of sexist behaviour can be gained through an evolutionary perspective that considers evolved differences in intra-sexual competition. We hypothesised that female-initiated disruption of a male hierarchy incites hostile behaviour from poor performing males who stand to lose the most status. To test this hypothesis, we used an online first-person shooter video game that removes signals of dominance but provides information on gender, individual performance, and skill. We show that lower-skilled players were more hostile towards a female-voiced teammate, especially when performing poorly. In contrast, lower-skilled players behaved submissively towards a male-voiced player in the identical scenario. This difference in gender-directed behaviour became more extreme with poorer focal-player performance. We suggest that low-status males increase female-directed hostility to minimize the loss of status as a consequence of hierarchical reconfiguration resulting from the entrance of a woman into the competitive arena. Higher-skilled players, in contrast, were more positive towards a female relative to a male teammate. As higher-skilled players have less to fear from hierarchical reorganization, we argue that these males behave more positively in an attempt to support and garner a female player's attention. Our results provide the clearest picture of inter-sexual competition to date, highlighting the importance of considering an evolutionary perspective when exploring the factors that affect male hostility towards women.

No MeSH data available.


The predicted number of positive comments as a function of manipulation and the relative difference in maximum skill level achieved.The number of positive statements made by the focal player was positively correlated with the difference in the maximum skill achieved of the focal player relative to the experimental player, and was significantly affected by the experimental manipulation. A focal player with was more positive towards a female-voiced player when they had a greater relative difference in maximum skill level, and more negative towards a female-voiced teammate when they had a lower relative difference in maximum skill level.
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pone.0131613.g002: The predicted number of positive comments as a function of manipulation and the relative difference in maximum skill level achieved.The number of positive statements made by the focal player was positively correlated with the difference in the maximum skill achieved of the focal player relative to the experimental player, and was significantly affected by the experimental manipulation. A focal player with was more positive towards a female-voiced player when they had a greater relative difference in maximum skill level, and more negative towards a female-voiced teammate when they had a lower relative difference in maximum skill level.

Mentions: We next examined whether the number of positive statements made by focal players was correlated with their performance metrics relative to the experimental player. There was a positive correlation between the number of positive statements and the relative difference in deaths (β = 0.13, χ2 = 9.44, p = 0.002) such that focal players that had a relatively greater number of deaths than the experimental player made more positive statements. Focal players with a higher skill achieved relative to the experimental player also made more positive comments (β = 0.29, χ2 = 5.12, p = 0.02); there was a near-significant interaction with manipulation such that the experimental player in the female-voiced treatment received more positive comments when focal players were of a higher skill level, but fewer positive comments when the experimental player was higher in skill (Fig 2). There was also a negative correlation between the relative difference in the number of kills and the number of positive statements (β = -0.17, χ2 = 9.05, p = 0.003) such that focal players that had relatively fewer kills than the experimental player made more positive statements. There was no effect of the manipulation or any of the other manipulation by performance interactions (Table 2).


Insights into Sexism: Male Status and Performance Moderates Female-Directed Hostile and Amicable Behaviour.

Kasumovic MM, Kuznekoff JH - PLoS ONE (2015)

The predicted number of positive comments as a function of manipulation and the relative difference in maximum skill level achieved.The number of positive statements made by the focal player was positively correlated with the difference in the maximum skill achieved of the focal player relative to the experimental player, and was significantly affected by the experimental manipulation. A focal player with was more positive towards a female-voiced player when they had a greater relative difference in maximum skill level, and more negative towards a female-voiced teammate when they had a lower relative difference in maximum skill level.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4503401&req=5

pone.0131613.g002: The predicted number of positive comments as a function of manipulation and the relative difference in maximum skill level achieved.The number of positive statements made by the focal player was positively correlated with the difference in the maximum skill achieved of the focal player relative to the experimental player, and was significantly affected by the experimental manipulation. A focal player with was more positive towards a female-voiced player when they had a greater relative difference in maximum skill level, and more negative towards a female-voiced teammate when they had a lower relative difference in maximum skill level.
Mentions: We next examined whether the number of positive statements made by focal players was correlated with their performance metrics relative to the experimental player. There was a positive correlation between the number of positive statements and the relative difference in deaths (β = 0.13, χ2 = 9.44, p = 0.002) such that focal players that had a relatively greater number of deaths than the experimental player made more positive statements. Focal players with a higher skill achieved relative to the experimental player also made more positive comments (β = 0.29, χ2 = 5.12, p = 0.02); there was a near-significant interaction with manipulation such that the experimental player in the female-voiced treatment received more positive comments when focal players were of a higher skill level, but fewer positive comments when the experimental player was higher in skill (Fig 2). There was also a negative correlation between the relative difference in the number of kills and the number of positive statements (β = -0.17, χ2 = 9.05, p = 0.003) such that focal players that had relatively fewer kills than the experimental player made more positive statements. There was no effect of the manipulation or any of the other manipulation by performance interactions (Table 2).

Bottom Line: We suggest that low-status males increase female-directed hostility to minimize the loss of status as a consequence of hierarchical reconfiguration resulting from the entrance of a woman into the competitive arena.Higher-skilled players, in contrast, were more positive towards a female relative to a male teammate.Our results provide the clearest picture of inter-sexual competition to date, highlighting the importance of considering an evolutionary perspective when exploring the factors that affect male hostility towards women.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Ecology and Evolution Research Centre, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, 2052, Australia.

ABSTRACT
Gender inequality and sexist behaviour is prevalent in almost all workplaces and rampant in online environments. Although there is much research dedicated to understanding sexist behaviour, we have almost no insight into what triggers this behaviour and the individuals that initiate it. Although social constructionist theory argues that sexism is a response towards women entering a male dominated arena, this perspective doesn't explain why only a subset of males behave in this way. We argue that a clearer understanding of sexist behaviour can be gained through an evolutionary perspective that considers evolved differences in intra-sexual competition. We hypothesised that female-initiated disruption of a male hierarchy incites hostile behaviour from poor performing males who stand to lose the most status. To test this hypothesis, we used an online first-person shooter video game that removes signals of dominance but provides information on gender, individual performance, and skill. We show that lower-skilled players were more hostile towards a female-voiced teammate, especially when performing poorly. In contrast, lower-skilled players behaved submissively towards a male-voiced player in the identical scenario. This difference in gender-directed behaviour became more extreme with poorer focal-player performance. We suggest that low-status males increase female-directed hostility to minimize the loss of status as a consequence of hierarchical reconfiguration resulting from the entrance of a woman into the competitive arena. Higher-skilled players, in contrast, were more positive towards a female relative to a male teammate. As higher-skilled players have less to fear from hierarchical reorganization, we argue that these males behave more positively in an attempt to support and garner a female player's attention. Our results provide the clearest picture of inter-sexual competition to date, highlighting the importance of considering an evolutionary perspective when exploring the factors that affect male hostility towards women.

No MeSH data available.