Study shows that the ‘manosphere’ community is misusing scientific research to support its beliefs

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Members of the “manosphere” community are misusing academic research to frame and validate their beliefs about women, according to new research led by the University of Kent’s School of Anthropology and Conservation.

The research, published by Evolutionary Human Sciences, demonstrates how evolutionary studies about women’s behavior (particularly sexual behavior such as infidelity) are being scrutinized by the manosphere online to justify anti-feminist and sexist beliefs. In contrast, research about male sexual behavior is being overlooked, signifying a double standard.

The manosphere is a network of websites, blogs, and online forums promoting masculinity, misogyny, and anti-feminist beliefs. Self-proclaimed misogynist influencer Andrew Tate is a known example of the manosphere community. Involuntary celibates (otherwise known as “incels”) are also regarded as members of this community. Awareness of incel culture has been rising among the public in recent years.

These research findings indicate a worrying picture for those vulnerable to being influenced by the manosphere community.

The research has been led by Kent Ph.D. student Louis Bachaud alongside Dr. Sarah Johns. Together, they have warned academics of the ways that their studies may be being misinterpreted in online spaces and have offered advice to mitigate the actions. This includes their recommendation that fellow academics should carefully frame their scientific writing and encourage them to publicly address the common misuses of research they encounter.

Louis Bachaud said, “The hypothetical nature of evolutionary behavioral science is always obscured. The ‘manosphere’ is taking hypotheses out of context and embedding them in their broader grievances, personal experiences, and sexist tropes. There is a bias towards presenting women as more determined by biology than men, and mostly applying the evolutionary lens towards women, but more rarely towards men and their behavior.

“This research is just a first milestone in the direction of disentangling the complex appropriations of science in the ‘manosphere.'”

More information:
Louis Bachaud et al, The use and misuse of evolutionary psychology in online manosphere communities: The case of female mating strategies, Evolutionary Human Sciences (2023). DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2023.22

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University of Kent

Study shows that the ‘manosphere’ community is misusing scientific research to support its beliefs (2023, November 21)
retrieved 21 November 2023

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