The dark core of personality and sexism in sport

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Personality and Individual Differences


Sexism is often discussed in amateur and professional sport but has rarely been the focus of scientific research. This study sought to test whether benevolent and hostile sexism relate to dark personality traits (the dark core of personality [D]) and whether benevolent and hostile sexism and D differ across age, performance levels, and athlete sex. In total, 354 German athletes (177 men, 177 women; mean age = 32.0 ± 12.6 years) completed questionnaires at a single time-point. Results showed that, compared to female athletes, male athletes scored higher on ambivalent sexism and D. No differences were found between different performance levels or age in terms of D or components of sexism. Linear regression models showed that D is a significant predictor of ambivalent sexism. Psychological Entitlement predicted hostile and benevolent sexism in women, whereas Machiavellianism, Egoism, Greed, and Amoralism-Crudality predicted hostile sexism (but not benevolent sexism) in men. These findings provide a foundation for further research into the emergence of sexism in amateur and professional sport.

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