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Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Project




Authoritarianism is a personality type first explored in the 1950's to understand anti-Semitism and Fascism during WWII. Preliminary research on the authoritarian personality explored ethnocentrism, submission to authority, authoritarian aggression, and obedience. Past research on authoritarianism has shown that those scoring high on authoritarianism are more likely to have fundamental religious beliefs, hold prejudices, and adhere to traditional gender role ideologies. Contemporary research suggests that this pattern of findings is still valid today, and might be applicable for understanding gender role ideologies and attitudes about marriage. The current study focused on how authoritarian attitudes might relate to gender role ideologies and the concept of arranged marriages in South Asia, specifically among South Indian and Bangladeshi college students. Results indicate that gender differences existed regarding attitudes about marriage with greater gender differences existing in India than in Bangladesh. Additionally, RWA was positively correlated with favoring arranged marriage, and negatively correlated with the mention of love as an important factor in marriage. Gender differences and country differences in patterns of correlates are discussed.


40 p. Honors project-Smith College, Northampton, Mass., 2009. Includes bibliographical references (p. 31-34).