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An exploratory investigation of Americans' expression of gender bias before and after the 2016 presidential election


Social Psychological and Personality Science


Organisational Behaviour

Authors / Editors

Georgeac O;Rattan A;Effron D A

Publication Year



Did the 2016 U.S. presidential election’s outcome affect Americans’ expression of gender bias? Drawing on theories linking leadership with intergroup attitudes, we proposed it would. A pre-registered exploratory survey of two independent samples of Americans pre- and post-election (Ns=1,098 and 1,192) showed no pre-post differences in modern sexism, concern with the gender pay gap, or perceptions of gender inequality and progress overall. However, supporters of Donald Trump (but not of Hillary Clinton) expressed greater modern sexism post- versus pre-election – which in turn predicted reporting lower disturbance with the gender pay gap, perceiving less discrimination against women but more against men, greater progress toward gender equality, and greater female representation at top levels in the U.S. Results were reliable when evaluated against four robustness standards, thereby offering suggestive evidence of how historic events may affect gender-bias expression. We discuss the theoretical implications for intergroup attitudes and their expression.


Election; Donald Trump; Hillary Clinton; Gender bias; Sexism; Intergroup relations

Available on ECCH


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