Surprise, surprise. According to a new study undertaken by researchers at the University of Buffalo, men are consistently more narcissistic than women. This new long-term, longitudinal study reviewed reams of data from earlier studies to inform its conclusions.
The new narcissism study was published in the Psychological Bulletin earlier this week.
More on men are more narcissistic studies
The U of Buffalo researchers compiled psychological and personality test data from over three decades of narcissism research, and determined that the scores males were consistently higher than those of women when it comes to self-obsession.
The academics took the data from 355 journal articles, surveys, dissertations and manuscripts, working to determine gender differences relating to narcissism. the authors of the comprehensive narcissism and gender survey divided the data into three categories (or three types of narcissism): extreme self-interest as it relates to leadership and authority, to grandiosity and exhibitionism and to entitlement.
Of interest, the largest difference between men’s and women’s scores was in the entitlement category, meaning males are more willing to exploit others and not forgo the many advantages of male privilege.
Statement from lead author
“Narcissism is associated with various interpersonal dysfunctions, including an inability to maintain healthy long-term relationships, unethical behavior and aggression,” noted lead author Emily Grijalva, an assistant professor at Buffalo’s School of Management.
“At the same time, narcissism is shown to boost self-esteem, emotional stability and the tendency to emerge as a leader,” Grijalva continued. “By examining gender differences in narcissism, we may be able to explain gender disparities in these important outcomes.”
The authors emphasized, however, that differences in attitude and personality aren’t proof that men are naturally predisposed to narcissism. They say its much more likely that the gender gap can be explained by gender stereotypes and societal expectations than genetics.
“Individuals tend to observe and learn gender roles from a young age, and may face backlash for deviating from society’s expectations,” Grijalva explained. “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.”