The Trump Effect

[Content Note: Misogyny.]

This story is a week old now, but I only just saw it yesterday. Jena McGregor at the Washington Post: Men's Negotiating Styles Toward Women Grew More Aggressive after Trump's Election, Study Shows.
Wharton assistant professor Corinne Low didn't set out to test the effect Donald Trump's election might have on men's and women's negotiating patterns last year. A gender and family economist, she was looking more broadly into gender differences in communication styles, using experiments to look at how men and women negotiate with one another in a lab at Wharton, the University of Pennsylvania's business school.

But after the November election, she noticed something interesting in her data. Comparing the results from lab tests she ran during early and late October with tests she ran the week after the election, she noticed a change she called "extremely stark:" On the whole, negotiating partners were more adversarial in their chat-based communication threads. In particular, men were more aggressive when they negotiated with counterparts they knew they were female, using hardball tactics more often.

..."Not only was the communication more aggressive, it was also less effective," she said.
Low notes that their dataset can't tell them whether it's a phenomenon contained to the immediate aftermath of the election, which will diminish with time, or whether "it is something that's shifted and is going to last the entire presidency." But it was a marked departure among men, in the wake of Trump's election.

What I suspect is that Low's finding is not an anomaly. There are almost certainly measurable changes in behavior, specifically behavior of men toward women, across a wide spectrum of interactions. I don't imagine for a moment this increased aggression is limited to negotiation.

And that is very concerning.

Trump's election empowered a lot of ugliness, and now his administration endeavors each day to codify that empowerment.

I don't know where it will end. It will take a long time for us to recover, if we can.

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