Based on role congruity theory, we investigated how gender bias may influence public attitudes toward the vaccine in Turkey. Using a between-subjects design, we tested whether an emphasis on the female versus the male scientist as the vaccine’s inventor in a news story influenced attitudes about the BioNTech vaccine and vaccination intentions. Partly confirming role congruity theory, three-way interaction results from 665 participants demonstrated that among male participants with a stronger belief in traditional gender roles (compared to males with lower belief), the presence of the female inventor, either by herself or together with the male inventor, decreased the perceived efficacy and safety of the vaccine and reduced intentions to be vaccinated by the BioNTech vaccine. We did not observe such differences for women. These findings highlight how gender bias may influence individuals’ information processing and decision making in a way that may have negative consequences for public health.
Doğan, İ., Baruh, L., Cemalcilar, Z., Kuru, O., Yıldırım, K., & Çarkoğlu, A. (2022). Biased perceptions against female scientists affect intentions to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Public Understanding of Science, 31(2), 239–251. https://doi.org/10.1177/09636625211060472