Pacific Men: how the feminist gap explains hostility

Professor

Erik Melander

(He/Him)

Professor

Uppsala University

Erik Melander is a professor in the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University. He was previously the Director of the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP). His research interests include the causes and dynamics of armed conflict, peace processes, and the role of gender.
Swede

Overview

This research demonstrates that attitudes to gender equality, not biological sex, explain attitudes towards other nationalities and religious groups.

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Key Findings

    How to apply research

    • Create positive role models (positive way of being a men in favour of gender equality)
    • Take into account the different ways in which masculinity is produced and reproduced – recruiters in organizations (i.e. army; foreign ministry) must consider who they are recruiting in order to avoid the perpetuation of sexism, militarized masculinity and gender inequality.
    • For organizations supporting youth – they should analyze and promote positive role models within youth groups to create a gender equal culture from the beginning

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    About this research

      This Journal Article was part of a collaborative effort

      This research was independently conducted and did not receive funding from outside of the university.

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      About this research

        This research was independently conducted and did not receive funding from outside of the university.

        This paper was co-authored

        Recommended for

        What findings means

        The gender gap in attitudes to foreign policy is well established in public opinion literature. Studies have repeatedly reported that women tend to be more peaceful and less militaristic than men. This article reexamines attitudes of individuals in relation to foreign policy and pits the gender gap against the largely forgotten feminist gap.

        We argue that the individual-level relationship between gender equality attitudes on the one hand, and tolerance and benevolence on the other, is under-researched, but also that key contributions about the effects of feminism have been mostly ignored in research on the gender gap in public opinion. It is important to focus in research and in practical actions on the role of masculinity

        We return to the notion of a causal relationship between gender equality attitudes, and peaceful attitudes, and of a feminist gap that also exists among men. In a series of novel empirical tests, we demonstrate that attitudes to gender equality, not biological sex, explain attitudes towards other nationalities and religious groups.

        Using individual-level survey data from five countries around the Pacific: China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, and the United States of America, we show that both men and women who reject gender equality are much more hostile both to other nations and to minorities in their own country.

        Methodology

        This research was conducted by an individual level survey data from five countries around the Pacific: China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, and the United States of America. Data sets were from the Pew Global Attitudes Project (PGAP), a series of worldwide public opinion surveys which began in 2001.

        This research relied on pre-existing data, and of course the factors examined will certainly change over country, context and time.

        Glossary

        ConceptDefinition
        Masculine Honor Cultureis an aspect of gender relations, and studies have found that individuals who endorse masculine honor ideology tend to hold more misogynist views.

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        Want to read the full paper? It is available open access

        Bjarnegard, Elin and Melander, Erik. (2017). Pacific Men: how the feminist gap explains hostility. The Pacific Review. 30. 1-16.