Overinflated feelings of confidence and entitlement can help men in one area, and really hurt them in others.
And now, some news that will surprise pretty much no one. According to a new review of 355 studies in the journal Psychological Bulletin, men are more narcissistic than women.
That’s right: It took three decades of data from almost half a million participants to uncover a conclusion researchers could have culled from watching pretty much any episode of The Apprentice or following Kanye West on Twitter. (Say what you want about Mrs. Kardashian West's own brand of brand of narcissism, but we all know he's the bigger offender.)
Jokes aside, it is nice to have proof that Yeezus and Mr. Trump are not the only ones: The men in the study outscored their female counterparts on personality tests in two out of three categories related to narcissism.
While both sexes are equally likely to be vain and "exhibitionist," according to the study, men far outscored women on measures of entitlement and "leadership and authority" as measured by their reactions to certain statements, Time.com reported. For example, men were more likely to respond positively to things like “If I ruled the world, it would be a much better place” and “I know that I am good because everyone keeps telling me so.” (Good boy—now here’s a treat!) And they were more likely to agree with phrases such as “I like having authority over people” and “I insist upon getting the respect that is due to me.”
You’d think there would be some kind of karmic payback for this kind of attitude, right? There are a few downsides to having an out-of-control ego: “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, PhD, an assistant professor at the University of Buffalo, in a news release. But it turns out, higher levels of narcissism have actually been super helpful to guys, upping their self-esteem and making them more likely to embrace leadership roles.
But here's the part that really caught our eye: Outdated social stereotypes might be to blame for these findings. According to Grijalva, “Individuals tend to observe and learn gender roles from a young age, and may face backlash for deviating from society’s expectations. In particular, women often receive harsh criticism for being aggressive or authoritative, which creates pressure for women to suppress displays of narcissistic behavior.”
Duly noted. Now ladies, repeat after us: “I insist upon getting the respect that is due to me.”
And as for you, guys—don’t get too comfortable in that corner office.