Higher prevalence of gender harassment has previously been identified in male dominated workforces, but not in academia. Factors such as implicit bias, male dominance, perceived gender threat, and heightened masculinity may increase the likelihood of gender harassment occurring in an academic setting. Two studies investigated this. In Study 1, one hundred seventy-one (92 male, 79 female) participants from male dominated and gender equivalent majors completed an online survey in which their explicit attitudes regarding gender and authority (GAM; see Rudman & Kilianski, 2000), and implicit associations regarding gender and careers (IAT; see Greenwald, McGhee, & Schwartz, 1998) were measured. Additionally, female participants completed a sexual experiences questionnaire (SEQ; see Fitzgerald et al., 1988). Men from male dominated majors did not exhibit more explicit attitudes favoring men in authority than men from gender equivalent majors (p = .220, d = .26), but did exhibit more implicit bias stereotyping men as associated with careers and women with the family (p = .017, d = .51). Females from male dominated majors experienced more gender harassment than females from gender equivalent majors (p = .017, d = .55). In Study 2, one hundred fifty-four male participants self-reported their masculinity, completed a group task with a female confederate leader serving as a gender threat in half the conditions, and then had their subsequent affect, perceptions of leadership effectiveness, and behavioral aggression measured. Men from male dominated majors and men who had received a gender threat did not differ from men from gender equivalent majors and men who had not received a gender threat on affect, perceptions of leadership effectiveness, or behavioral aggression (ps > .201, ηp2s ≤ .007). However, additional analyses revealed that as masculinity increased among men from male dominated majors under gender threat, they became more behaviorally aggressive (b = 5.92, p = .003) and perceived their female's leader's leadership as being less effective (b = -0.83, p = .076). Based on these findings, it is recommended that future research on gender harassment focus on men from male dominated majors who are high on masculinity.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Psychology



Date Submitted


Document Type





male dominance, gender harassment, gender threat, masculinity

Available for download on Friday, July 06, 2018

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Psychology Commons