In six studies, we examined the accuracy and underpinnings of the damaging stereotype that feminists harbor negative attitudes toward men. In Study 1 (n = 1,664), feminist and nonfeminist women displayed similarly positive attitudes toward men. Study 2 (n = 3,892) replicated these results in non-WEIRD countries and among male participants. Study 3 (n = 198) extended them to implicit attitudes. Investigating the mechanisms underlying feminists’ actual and perceived attitudes, Studies 4 (n = 2,092) and 5 (nationally representative UK sample, n = 1,953) showed that feminists (vs. nonfeminists) perceived men as more threatening, but also more similar, to women. Participants also underestimated feminists’ warmth toward men, an error associated with hostile sexism and a misperception that feminists see men and women as dissimilar. Random-effects meta-analyses of all data (Study 6, n = 9,799) showed that feminists’ attitudes toward men were positive in absolute terms and did not differ significantly from nonfeminists'. An important comparative benchmark was established in Study 6, which showed that feminist women's attitudes toward men were no more negative than men's attitudes toward men. We term the focal stereotype the misandry myth in light of the evidence that it is false and widespread, and discuss its implications for the movement.
© The Author(s) 2023.
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