Men are more narcissistic than woman, according to a new study recently concluded from the University of Buffalo.
Test data from 31 years of narcissism studies from 475,000 subjects were examined, including personality and psychological examinations. Analysis shows men tend to be far more self-absorbed than women, on average.
Researchers also examined information from 355 articles, dissertations, manuscripts and surveys as part of their research.
Narcissistic tendencies were divided into three categories, including grandiosity and exhibitionism, entitlement, and extreme self-interest as related to authority.
The greatest differences were seen in the category of entitlement. Men, on average, were found to be more willing than women to exploit other people to advance self-interest, the study found. Attitudes toward authority and leadership were found to be the second-greatest difference between men and women, the study found.
"Narcissism is associated with various interpersonal dysfunctions, including an inability to maintain healthy long-term relationships, unethical behavior and aggression," Emily Grijalva of the University of Buffalo said.
Males may have greater narcissistic tendencies than females due, in part, to societal expectations and gender stereotypes, researchers speculate. Stereotypes of femininity and leadership could partly explain the lack of widespread saturation of women in leadership roles, investigators believe.
"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," Grijalva said.
However, neither men nor women were any more likely than the other to exhibit one form of narcissism.
"Compared with women, men exhibit more assertiveness and desire for power. But there was no difference in the exhibitionism aspect, meaning both genders are equally likely to display vanity or self-absorption," Grijalva stated in a university press release.
Young people are often discouraged from deviating from societal norms as far as aggression and assertiveness are concerned, the study noted. Young boys who are not assertive enough with peers are commonly teased for being effeminate. Girls who are too assertive with needs can be told to act more "lady-like."
Personality differences, including narcissism, can be altered by gender expectations and stereotypes, earlier research has shown.
Records of college students who attended school between 1990 and 2013 were examined, revealing levels of narcissism neither rose, nor fell, during that time.
Further research may examine the underlying causes contributing to gender differences seen in this latest examination.
Analysis of rates of narcissism, comparing men and women, was detailed in the journal Psychological Bulletin.
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