Dominant groups (e.g., White U.S. citizens) are more associated with “American” identity and they feel greater ownership over American national identity compared to ethnic minority groups. We extended this perception to gender and tested whether American national identity is constructed in masculine, versus feminine, terms. We examined whether U.S. men feel greater symbolic ownership over the nation and represent what it means to be a prototypical American, more than U.S. women. In Study 1, men and women considered male-associated traits more American than female-associated traits and listed more men as examples of “true” Americans than women. In Study 2, men reported higher levels of nationalism than women. Women’s nationalism was moderated by their conception of male-associated traits as American—women who viewed American identity as more masculine were less nationalistic. Men showed a stronger correlation between gender identity and American identity compared to women. However, correlations between gender identity and nationalism did not differ by participant gender. Results suggest men and masculinity are considered more American than are women and femininity. We provide support for the subgroup asymmetry hypothesis through the novel lens of gender. We discuss means of attenuating the gendered construction of national identity in terms of media, policy, and education. Additional online materials for this article, including study materials, a podcast interview with the author, and slides for instructors who want to use this article for teaching, are available on PWQ’s website at http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/suppl/10.1177/0361684317707710.
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Women make up 50.8 percent of the U.S. population and have equal voting rights, yet are politically underrepresented. The country has never had a female president or vice president. Only 3.5 percent of Supreme Court justices have been women, and women make up only 20 percent o...
Aug. 15, 2017
Laura Van Berkel, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Cologne,
Ludwin Molina, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Kansas,
Sahana Mukherjee, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Gettysburg College
Protesters hold signs at the Chicago Women's March in January 2017. John W. Iwanski, CC BY-NCWomen make up 50.8 percent of the U.S. population and have equal voting rights, yet are politically underrepresented. The country has never had a female president or vice president. On...