What makes a liberal feminist? Identifying predictors of heterosexual women and men's liberal feminist ideology

Brenda Russell, Debra Oswald, Mary Kate Cotter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, liberal feminism has garnered the spotlight on equal rights for women. However, what factors contribute to men and women developing liberal feminist ideologies? This is important to understand as this ideology is predictive of support for political and social policies that are currently under debate in the United States. In this survey study (149 heterosexual men and 233 heterosexual women) we examined attitudinal and ideological variables that underlie liberal feminist ideology. The results of this study indicate that heterosexual men scored significantly lower on liberal feminist ideology and significantly higher on traditional attitudes toward women, hostile and benevolent sexism, gender-specific justification, rape myths, and conservative political affiliation compared to heterosexual women. Furthermore, traditional attitudes toward women, hostile and benevolent sexism, gender-specific justification, rape myths, political leanings, and gender accounted for almost 70% of the variance in liberal feminist ideology. Participant gender did not moderate the regression analyses, suggesting that men and women are influenced similarly in determining what attitudes predict liberal feminist ideologies. Implications for support for public policy are addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-260
Number of pages20
JournalAnalyses of Social Issues and Public Policy
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this