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When distributive justice and gender stereotypes coincide: Reactions to equity and equality violations

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The current study explores how prescriptive gender stereotypes shape reactions to resource allocations. Starting from the premise that the equity norm necessitates stereotypically male behavior and the equality norm necessitates stereotypically female behavior, I propose that men and women face differing consequences for violating equity and equality. These ideas were tested in two experiments, with participants reviewing how a manager divided resources between subordinates. Results partially supported the hypotheses. Although findings indicate that decision makers were evaluated negatively for using equality in a situation that called for equity, men received less favorable ratings and were viewed as less agentic than women for this violation. This work suggests that distributive justice norms and prescriptive gender stereotypes can exert a combined effect on reactions to allocation decisions.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2018

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