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Psychol Rev. 2002 Jul;109(3):573-98.

Role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA. eagly@northwestern.edu

Abstract

A role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders proposes that perceived incongruity between the female gender role and leadership roles leads to 2 forms of prejudice: (a) perceiving women less favorably than men as potential occupants of leadership roles and (b) evaluating behavior that fulfills the prescriptions of a leader role less favorably when it is enacted by a woman. One consequence is that attitudes are less positive toward female than male leaders and potential leaders. Other consequences are that it is more difficult for women to become leaders and to achieve success in leadership roles. Evidence from varied research paradigms substantiates that these consequences occur, especially in situations that heighten perceptions of incongruity between the female gender role and leadership roles.

PMID:
12088246
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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