Dude Looks Like a Feminist!: Moral Concerns and Feminism among Men

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Even though male participation in feminism is essential to its success, it is possible that men are reluctant to get involved in the movement because of its primary association with women (Holmgren & Hearn, 2009). This research investigated whether certain moral concerns contribute to men endorsing feminism. According to the moral foundations theory (MFT), there are five moral concerns: harm (i.e., the concern for someone’s physical and emotional well-being), fairness (i.e., the concern for equality and justice), ingroup (i.e., the concern for loyalty to group membership), authority (i.e., the concern for tradition and the social hierarchy), and purity (i.e., the concern for physical and spiritual cleanliness; Graham et al., 2011). Graham, Haidt, and Nosek (2009) found that harm and fairness correlate to liberalism; therefore we predicted that men’s feminism would be associated with an increased emphasis on those moral concerns and a decreased emphasis on ingroup, authority, and purity. Using an online survey methodology, participants were assessed on various aspects of feminism and morality. The results generally supported our predictions that higher support for conservative moral concerns correlates to less endorsement of feminism, whereas higher support for liberal moral concerns correlates to more endorsement of feminism, even when controlling for political ideology. This research contributes to our understanding of male resistance to and support of the feminist movement.

Original Citation

Precopio, R.F. & Ramsey, L. (2017). Dude Looks Like a Feminist!: Moral Concerns and Feminism among Men. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 18(1), 78-86. https://doi.org/10.1037/men0000042