05/07/2014 09:50 am ET

Are People Becoming More Open To Female Leaders?

Reza Estakhrian via Getty Images

The thing to blame if you think people don't like it when women are in charge is "role congruity." It’s the theory that the most primitive parts of our brain continue to dictate our ideas about gender roles, with the man setting the rules of cave-house and forging the path to the mammoth den while the woman sticks to just nurturing things. Thus, when a woman steps into a leadership role, it’s supposed to trigger a “gender-role violation” that, consciously or not, stirs us to see her as less capable.

This phenomenon has been supported by research. One study, in 1990, found that female leaders were given more negative and less positive feedback than male leaders, even though they offered the same suggestions and arguments.

Read more on The Atlantic