What Causes Misogyny?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Mar 24, 2020 5:43:34 PM ET

As of 2014, patriarchal cultures and social organizations, religious orthodoxy, intergroup violence and kinship structures favoring fraternity over conjugal unity are believed to be the major factors that contribute to the development and propagation of misogyny. Cultures of consumerism and entitlement, which emphasize potential happiness through ownership of property and imply an inherent right to this happiness, also play a role.

Most evidence points toward cultural and environmental influences as being strong factors in misogynistic behaviors and thought patterns. Historic referencing, the unquestioned continuation of traditions and tendencies to maintain a status quo, overlooks or accepts misogynistic tendencies as normal and runs the risk of allowing misogynistic proliferation. Researchers of misogyny in Western-style cultures have also identified prolific consumerism and advertising as a trigger. Men in these types of cultures, who do not feel that their psychosexual needs are being met, attach their desires to women in general. Because of their feelings of powerlessness, these men try to exert what little control they can over all females.

Accounts of misogyny occur in virtually every society in recorded history. Despite the fact that misogyny is irrational, it is globally and chronically present in humans. Men are generally larger and capable of exerting more physical force, which severely hindered cultures that developed matrilineally from gaining a foothold as trade and civilization became more global and violent. Some scholars also believe that the thousands of years that males have spent denigrating, discriminating against, objectifying and violating women may be, in some small part, due to psychogenic forces.