Monday, January 18, 2021

Endorsement of dominant masculinity best predicts 2016 and 2020 voting and candidate evaluations.

Vescio and Schermerhorn carry out studies of several thousand individuals showing that men’s and women’s endorsement of hegemonic masculinity predicted support for Trump better than other suggested causes: antiestablishment, antielitist, and nativist populism, as well as to sexism, racism, homophobia, and xenophobia. I want to also point readers to the Thomas Edsall essay "White Riot", which makes some of the same points.

(I use the word 'dominant' rather than 'hegemonic' in the title of this post because hegemonic is frequently used in political discourse as a pejorative term, like other blanket terms such as hetero-normative.) 

Here is their significance statement and abstract, the  link above takes you to the whole text containing details of their studies and summary charts. .


Donald J. Trump’s history-making ascension from nonpolitician to president of the United States has been attributed to the antiestablishment, antielitist, and nativist populism of Trump voters, as well as to sexism, racism, homophobia, and xenophobia. Based on the findings of seven studies involving 2,007 people, men’s and women’s endorsement of hegemonic masculinity predicted support for Trump over and beyond the aforementioned factors, even when controlling for political party affiliation. Results highlight the importance of looking beyond social identity–based conceptualizations of masculinity to fully consider how men’s and women’s endorsement of cultural ideologies about masculinity legitimate patriarchal forms of dominance and reify gender-, race-, and class-based hierarchies.
This work examined whether the endorsement of the culturally idealized form of masculinity—hegemonic masculinity (HM)—accounted for unique variance in men’s and women’s support for Donald Trump across seven studies (n = 2,007). Consistent with our theoretical backdrop, in the days (Studies 1 and 2) and months (Studies 3 through 6) following the 2016 American presidential election, women’s and men’s endorsement of HM predicted voting for and evaluations of Trump, over and above political party affiliation, gender, race, and education. These effects held when controlling for respondents’ trust in the government, in contrast to a populist explanation of support for Trump. In addition, as conceptualized, HM was associated with less trust in the government (Study 3), more sexism (Study 4), more racism (Study 5), and more xenophobia (Study 6) but continued to predict unique variance in evaluations of Trump when controlling for each of these factors. Whereas HM predicted evaluations of Trump, across studies, social and prejudiced attitudes predicted evaluations of his democratic challengers: Clinton in 2016 and Biden in 2020. We replicate the findings of Studies 1 through 6 using a nationally representative sample of the United States (Study 7) 50 days prior to the 2020 presidential election. The findings highlight the importance of psychological examinations of masculinity as a cultural ideology to understand how men’s and women’s endorsement of HM legitimizes patriarchal dominance and reinforces gender, race, and class-based hierarchies via candidate support.

No comments:

Post a Comment