Women and (dis)interest in government: How the status quo affects attitudes toward female politicians and intentions to participate in politics
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When people are motivated to justify their socio-political systems they come to view the current status quo as the most desirable status quo--a process termed injunctification (Kay et al., 2009). Here, two studies suggest that injunctification processes can perpetuate gender inequalities in politics. In Study 1, I manipulated the system justification (SJ) motive of 64 female undergraduates and presented information suggesting there are many or few women in federal politics. Participants with their SJ motive heightened and who read there were many women more showed more egalitarian attitudes compared to other conditions. Study 2 (90 female undergraduates) again manipulated the SJ motive and manipulated the status quo about the number of women in politics. Participants with a heightened SJ motive who read there would soon be many women in politics reported more personal political interest, compared to other conditions. Implications for inequality and System Justification Theory are discussed.