Men tend to be more narcissistic than women, large study says

March 4, 2015
Study: Men tend to be more narcissistic than women
Credit: University at Buffalo

With three decades of data from more than 475,000 participants, a new study on narcissism from the University at Buffalo School of Management reveals that men, on average, are more narcissistic than women.

Forthcoming in the journal Psychological Bulletin, the study compiled 31 years of research and found that men consistently scored higher in narcissism across multiple generations and regardless of age.

"Narcissism is associated with various interpersonal dysfunctions, including an inability to maintain healthy long-term relationships, unethical behavior and aggression," says lead author Emily Grijalva, PhD, assistant professor of organization and human resources in the UB School of Management.

"At the same time, narcissism is shown to boost self-esteem, emotional stability and the tendency to emerge as a leader," she says. "By examining gender differences in narcissism, we may be able to explain in these important outcomes."

The researchers examined more than 355 journal articles, dissertations, manuscripts and technical manuals, and studied gender differences in the three aspects of narcissism: leadership/authority, grandiose/exhibitionism and entitlement.

They found the widest gap in entitlement, suggesting that men are more likely than to exploit others and feel entitled to certain privileges.

The second largest difference was in leadership/authority. "Compared with women, men exhibit more assertiveness and desire for power," Grijalva says. "But there was no difference in the exhibitionism aspect, meaning both genders are equally likely to display vanity or self-absorption."

In addition, the study looked at data from college students between 1990 and 2013, and found no evidence that either gender has become more narcissistic over time.

Research has shown that personality differences, like narcissism, can arise from and expectations that have been ingrained over time. The authors speculate that the persistent lack of women in senior leadership roles may partially stem from the disparity between stereotypes of femininity and leadership.

"Individuals tend to observe and learn from a young age, and may face backlash for deviating from society's expectations," Grijalva says. "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."

Future research could further investigate the social, cultural or biological factors that contribute to these .

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3 comments

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andyrdj
5 / 5 (1) Mar 04, 2015
Once again, we see a study with interesting results but authors who seem determined to explain it all by the "nurture" model with no mention of the biological differences between men and women.

I'd put money on it that Testosterone also has something to do with it. My experience from my own childhood was that boys were told off and chastised aplenty for misbehaving - indeed, chastised far more often than the girls - but their own belligerence drove them to ignore much of the attempts to condition them.

As usual, the PC establishment refuses to admit this and stresses the nurture.

RobertKarlStonjek
not rated yet Mar 05, 2015
Love, in its original affiliative role, was between mother and child. This is consistent across all mammals. The mother and child identify the self with the other. This affiliative love spread to adult males, perhaps via a neotenic mechanism, and became generalised, so that one can have emotionally grounded affiliation to just about anything including to a country, to a tribe or group, to hobby or activity and of course the other people and the marriage bond.

But the take home message is that the adult version started with adult females. Thus females have an evolutionary advantage of some 80 million years. Whilst chimps and pet mammal pets can display this neotenic affiliative love (be tame, become tame), it is naturally present only in humans, at least in the case of males.

It is not surprising, then, that reversion to earlier emotional models (psychopathic, non-affiliative in behaviour) is more common in the males who only evolved the affiliative love relatively recently.
KBK
not rated yet Mar 05, 2015
"At the same time, narcissism is shown to boost self-esteem, emotional stability and the tendency to emerge as a leader," she says. "By examining gender differences in narcissism, we may be able to explain gender disparities in these important outcomes."

Of course, this fundamentally calls into question the concept of a "leader".

Do we need any form of a narcissistic douche-bag, being celebrated as 'a great man, the great leader'?.

The answer is a resounding NO.

That is the problem that is inherent to the situation that the world is in, today. All our problems can be tied to such minds and such people.

To end it with as much prejudice as possible. It is key to turning this planet around.

This, of course, is about a ~real~ death of all forms, of monarchy, oligarchy and singular rule in any given system. Open and where it hides..hidden, which is KEY to our problem.

Cloaked oligarchy is the issue today in our 'modern democratic attempts'.

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