A new study on narcissism that analyzed decades of data from almost half a million participants concludes that men are more narcissistic than women.
Researchers from the University at Buffalo School of Management in New York analyzed the gender differences in narcissism across more than 300 "journal articles, dissertations, manuscripts and technical manuals." Overall, the study took in 30 years of research and more than 475,000 participants. In particular, the researchers focused on three aspects of narcissism — Leadership/authority; Grandiose/exhibitionism; Entitlement.
The widest gender gap in the study was found in entitlement, suggesting that men are more likely than women to exploit others and that they feel a greater entitlement to certain privileges.
The second largest gender gap was in leadership/authority, which led the researchers to note that men "exhibit more assertiveness and desire for power" compared with women.
However, there was no significant gender difference in regards to exhibitionism, which suggests that men and women are likely to be equally as vain or self-absorbed.
Previous research has found that personality differences such as narcissism are related to gender stereotypes and expectations. For instance, lead author Emily Grijalva, PhD, assistant professor of organization and human resources, notes the lack of women in senior roles of leadership could be influenced by disparities in perceptions of femininity and leadership.
"Individuals tend to observe and learn gender roles from a young age, and may face backlash for deviating from society's expectations," she suggests. "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."
Narcissism is problematic for both individuals and society. Those who think they are already great do not try to improve themselves. And narcissism is bad for society because people who are only thinking of themselves and their own interests are less helpful to others.