A Social Dominance Theory Perspective on Attitudes Toward Girl Child Marriages in Turkey: The Legitimizing Role of Ambivalent Sexism

Kaynak Malatyalı M., Kaynak B. D., HASTA D.

Sex Roles, vol.77, no.9-10, pp.687-696, 2017 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 77 Issue: 9-10
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11199-017-0750-2
  • Journal Name: Sex Roles
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.687-696
  • Keywords: Attitudes toward girl child marriages, Sexism, Gender equality, Dominance, Ambivalent sexism, Turkey
  • TED University Affiliated: No


The girl child marriage practice (a forced marriage involving a young woman under age 18) is a serious problem in Turkey as it is in many developing countries. It is important to investigate the reasons behind individuals’ support for girl child marriages. The aim of the present study is to examine attitudes toward girl child marriages in Turkey within the perspective of social dominance theory (Sidanius and Pratto 1999). Namely, we investigate the relationship between social dominance orientation and attitudes toward girl child marriages. We also examine the mediating role of ambivalent sexism (both hostile and benevolent) in this association. Students (N = 388) from two universities in Ankara completed the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory, the Social Dominance Orientation (SDO) Scale, and our Attitudes toward Girl Child Marriages Scale. Results indicate that men have more positive attitudes toward girl child marriages than women do. In addition, SDO predicts positive attitudes toward girl child marriages. Also, hostile, but not benevolent, sexism mediates the relationship between SDO and attitudes toward girl child marriages. The present study shows that those who endorse male dominance and gender inequality also have more positive attitudes toward girl child marriages. It also shows that these people draw on their hostile attitudes toward women in order to legitimize these kinds of marriages.