Home Uncategorized Study confirms that men are more narcissistic than women

Study confirms that men are more narcissistic than women

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With
over three decades of data taken from 470,846 participants and 355
academic journal articles, dissertations, manuscripts and technical
manuals, scientists have made a pretty good case for men of all ages
being significantly more likely than women to exhibit narcissistic
tendencies. 

What does this mean? Well, it’s not all bad,
especially if you’re an ambitious person, but narcissism isn’t
particularly great either, because it can make things pretty unpleasant
for those around you.
“Narcissism is associated with various interpersonal dysfunctions,
including an inability to maintain healthy long-term relationships,
unethical behaviour and aggression,” lead researcher Emily Grijalva,
from the University at Buffalo School of Management in the US, said in a press release.
“At the same time, narcissism is shown to boost self-esteem, emotional
stability and the tendency to emerge as a leader. By examining gender
differences in narcissism, we may be able to explain gender disparities
in these important outcomes.”
In their meta-analysis, Grijalva’s
team looked at three different aspects of narcissism –
leadership/authority, grandiose/exhibitionism and
exploitative/entitlement – and studied the instances of these behaviours
shown by the male and female participants across each one. They looked
at US college student cohorts over time, from 1990 to 2013, and across
different age groups. 
Gender difference effect sizes for three facets of narcissism were
calculated by subtracting the mean for men from the mean for women, and
dividing that by the pooled standard deviation to come up with ‘d’ as
the quantifier. Based in these calculations, they found that by far, the
widest gap between men and women was a feeling of entitlement (d = 29),
which I’m guessing comes as a surprise to no woman anywhere. “This
result suggests that compared with women, men are more likely to exploit
others and to believe that they themselves are special and therefore
entitled to privileges,” the team wrote in the Psychological Bulletin. 
The
second largest gap between the sexes was in the leadership/authority
aspect of narcissism, which scored a d = 20. This means that compared to
women, men were more likely to exhibit assertiveness, the motivation to
lead, and a desire for more power over others, the researchers report.
But
when it came to grandiose/exhibitionism aspect of narcism, the team
found almost no difference between the sexes – d = 4. “In other words,
both genders were almost equally likely to endorse characteristics
consistent with vanity, exhibitionism, and self-absorption,” the team
writes.
Overall, they found a consistent gender difference in
narcissism, with men scoring a quarter of a standard deviation higher in
narcissism than the women (d = 26). They suggest that the differences
between the behaviours displayed by the male and female participants
could come from the way we tend to interpret gender stereotypes.
“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 the press release.
“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 behaviour.”
Interestingly,
when the researchers looked separately at vulnerable narcissism, which
is another, less-studied form of narcissism characterised by low
self-esteem, neuroticism, and introversion, they found no difference
between the instances of women and men exhibiting this trait.

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Now,
before everyone starts getting upset about what these results could be
saying, the researchers are the first to point to that while their
results are pretty clear, they’re not casting dispersions about every
man, or every woman. They conclude in their paper:

“Narcissism
is a trait with a relatively negative connotation. We must therefore
emphasise that the gender differences referred to in this article do not
apply to every individual within a group. Not all men are entitled or
exploitative. Not all women are low in a sense of leadership and
motivation for authority. 

The current results are
consistent with the finding that within-group trait differences are
generally larger than differences between gender groups. Although we are
saying that the average man tends to be more narcissistic than the
average woman, we are not making generalisations to specific
individuals.”

The researchers say that across the 31 years
they examined, neither sex showed any signs of becoming more or less
narcissistic over time, which means, no, the selfie explosion doesn’t
mean we’re now more narcissistic than our parents. But if you do post a lot of selfies, you might want to check out this separate study, published last year, which linked both narcism and psychopathy to males who post a lot of selfies online.

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