Consequences of a Zero-Sum Perspective of Gender Status: Predicting Later Discrimination against Men and Women in Collaborative and Leadership Roles. By: Ruthig, Joelle C.; Kehn, Andre; Fisher, Wendy N.; Carstens Namie, Emily M. Sex Roles. Jul2021, Vol. 85 Issue 1/2, p13-24. 12p. 4 Charts, 2 Graphs.

The zero-sum perspective (ZSP) implies gains made by one group (e.g., women) translate into equivalent loss for another group (e.g., men). The present studies extend prior research by examining whether individuals with a ZSP of gender status exhibit later discrimination. In Study 1, 624 U.S. undergraduates completed online measures of political orientation, social dominance orientation (SDO), right-wing authoritarianism (RWA), sexism, and ZSP of gender status. One month later, they read three online scenarios depicting a male target and three depicting a female target in a leadership or collaborative role, then rated their endorsement of the target. Regression results indicated that beyond the effects of participants’ gender, political orientation, RWA, SDO, and sexism, the greater participants’ ZSP of gender status, the less they endorsed female leaders and collaborators. ZSP did not predict endorsement of male targets. In Study 2, 249 adults across the United States completed the same initial measures as in Study 1 then one month later, read two online scenarios depicting a male target and two depicting a female target, then rated target endorsement. Greater ZSP of gender status again predicted less endorsement of female targets. A significant ZSP x Target Gender interaction showed endorsement of female targets declined with increasing ZSP whereas endorsement of male targets remained unchanged across levels of ZSP. These findings show discrimination against female leaders and collaborators by individuals who possess a ZSP of gender status and provide insight into how win-lose perceptions of gender status may impede gender equality.