Corruption and Sexual Scandal: The Importance of Politician Gender

Magdalena Anna Żemojtel-Piotrowska, Alison Marganski, Tomasz Baran, Jarosław Piotrowski


The current experimental study analyzes individuals’ reactions to politicians involved in scandals as a function of scandal type and politician sex (N = 798). Corruption and sexual scandals were considered. The results indicate that female politicians were judged more harshly than male politicians involved in scandals regardless of the type of scandal. Scandal affected not only assessment of their morality but also competence, contrary to assessment of men. The results were discussed in reference to expectancy violations theory and shifting standards theory which predicts more negative evaluation of women involved in immoral behavior despite lack general prejudices toward women in politics.


political scandal, gender stereotypes, expectancy violations theory, shifting standards theory

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