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Men are More Narcissistic Than Women
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Men are More Narcissistic Than Women

Depressing news from the world of psychology: Nearly every stereotype about the gender gap with regards to narcissism, ambition and leadership is right.
That’s according to a study in the March issue of the Psychological Bulletin, the journal of the American Psychological Association. In a review of three decades of survey data from nearly half a million participants, researchers found that men are more likely to demonstrate narcissistic behavior than women, regardless of generation or age.
With what must have been a tremendous tolerance for inflated egos, the researchers examined some of humanity’s least-attractive characteristics - manipulativeness, self-absorption, aggression and arrogance among them - and looked at how people responded to statements that included “If I ruled the world, it would be a much better place” and “I know that I am good because everyone keeps telling me so.”

 Higher Score
They then qualified “narcissism” according to three facets: entitlement, leadership/authority and grandiose/exhibitionism. Men scored measurably higher than women in the first two categories and were more likely to agree with phrases like “I like having authority over people” and “I insist upon getting the respect that is due to me.” They were also more likely to exploit others and to believe that they were entitled to special privileges. But there was hardly any deviation between the two genders in the grandiose/exhibitionism category, which includes qualities like vanity and self-absorption.
Higher levels of narcissism have been a helpful adaptation for men, boosting their self-esteem and emotional stability and making them more likely to take on leadership roles. But it has its drawbacks.
“Narcissism is associated with various interpersonal dysfunctions, including an inability to maintain healthy long-term relationships, unethical behavior and aggression,” said lead author Emily Grijalva, a professor at the University of Buffalo.
“The study doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t already assume, but it is the first systematic review to back up the magnitude of gender stereotypes with actual data. It also looks into why those stereotypes exist in the first place.”
“Individuals tend to observe and learn gender roles from a young age, and may face backlash for deviating from society’s expectations,” Grijalva said. “In particular, women often receive harsh criticism for being aggressive or authoritative, which creates pressure for women, more so than for men, to suppress displays of narcissistic behavior.”

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