A rich literature exists that examines individuals' perceptions of affirmative action in organizations. However, little is known regarding the evaluation of reverse gender discrimination claims arising from gender-based preferential treatment. This study investigated the possible existence of a gender similarity bias in evaluations of gender discrimination allegations using a laboratory experiment in which the strength of evidence against the defendant company and the gender of the plaintiff were manipulated. Our sample consisted of 120 undergraduate students (60 men, 60 women) from diverse racial/ethnic groups (35% Asian, 6% African American, 18% Hispanic, and 41% Caucasian). Results suggested that female mock jurors favored female plaintiffs over male plaintiffs. In contrast, there were no gender-related differences in perceptions of male plaintiffs. Thus, although women did not disadvantage male plaintiffs, there was a tendency for them to be favorably biased in favor of female plaintiffs. As expected, this tendency was greatest under conditions of evidential uncertainty about the company's guilt.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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