Men’s (Mis)Perceptions of the Gender Threatening Consequences of Unemployment

Men’s (Mis)Perceptions of the Gender Threatening Consequences of Unemployment Given the importance of work to the male gender role, the recent U.S. economic recession (in which men accounted for over 70 % of jobs lost; Boushey 2009) provided a window into the role of employment in men’s identities. We examined men’s and women’s beliefs about the effects of involuntary unemployment on others’ evaluations of them (i.e., metaperceptions). Specifically, participants evaluated targets (other people or themselves) on prescriptive and proscriptive traits linked to gender (see Rudman et al. 2012), and on gender status loss (e.g., whether one is “not a real man”). Using a nationally representative sample of participants from the United States (N = 816) with an equal number of men and women (Ns = 408), we found that, compared with women, men estimated lower appraisals of their own gender status by others after either an imagined or a recalled job loss. However, men’s gendered metaperceptions following job loss were more negative than the evaluations that others actually gave a hypothetical male victim of job loss. Thus, men may believe that others will evaluate them more negatively than others would actually evaluate them following job loss. We discuss these results in light of the current economy and shifting cultural norms regarding employment. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Men’s (Mis)Perceptions of the Gender Threatening Consequences of Unemployment

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-013-0339-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Given the importance of work to the male gender role, the recent U.S. economic recession (in which men accounted for over 70 % of jobs lost; Boushey 2009) provided a window into the role of employment in men’s identities. We examined men’s and women’s beliefs about the effects of involuntary unemployment on others’ evaluations of them (i.e., metaperceptions). Specifically, participants evaluated targets (other people or themselves) on prescriptive and proscriptive traits linked to gender (see Rudman et al. 2012), and on gender status loss (e.g., whether one is “not a real man”). Using a nationally representative sample of participants from the United States (N = 816) with an equal number of men and women (Ns = 408), we found that, compared with women, men estimated lower appraisals of their own gender status by others after either an imagined or a recalled job loss. However, men’s gendered metaperceptions following job loss were more negative than the evaluations that others actually gave a hypothetical male victim of job loss. Thus, men may believe that others will evaluate them more negatively than others would actually evaluate them following job loss. We discuss these results in light of the current economy and shifting cultural norms regarding employment.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 19, 2014

References

  • Change in gender-ideology, 1977–1996: the contributions of intracohort change and population turnover
    Brewster, KL; Padavic, I

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