Masculine Honor Beliefs describe an ideology that one’s masculinity needs to be earned, protected, and maintained, often through aggression. Scales measuring masculine honor beliefs have focused on breadth (e.g., Masculine Honor Beliefs Scale), aggression (e.g., Honor Ideology in Manhood Scale), and threat concerns (e.g., Masculine Honor Concerns scales). Arguably, these all share a common feature: status attainment. We proposed that masculine honor beliefs are better conceptualized as honor based in dominance and honor based in prestige, two separate pathways to status attainment. We hypothesized the two factors of dominance and prestige are replicable and will show convergent validity, but also differential prediction of other measures of honor, aggression, empathy, and dark triad characteristics. Specifically, prestige will most relate to positive, and dominance will most relate to negative characteristics.
Existing scales of masculine honor ideology were used to write items measuring these two different motivations. To validate our scale, we conducted two studies to test the factor structure of these items to ensure that these two factors were replicable and predictive of honor-related outcomes. Consistent with our hypothesis, the two factors of dominance and prestige were extracted. It was found that both subscales of prestige and dominance were strongly correlated with existing honor measures, but diverge in honor-related outcomes. For example, they showed opposite relationships predicting integrity and empathy in which the dominance subscale was negatively correlated with these factors while the prestige subscale was positively correlated to them. The dominance and prestige subscales are also positively related to concern with reputation. However, dominance is related stronger than prestige to narcissism, need to belong, aggression, and esteem. Additionally, the dominance subscale is most related to the dark triad (narcissism, psychopathy, machiavellianism) as well as different forms of anger and hostile aggression. From this, it can be concluded that honor based dominance is associated with more negative outcomes as it is related to using aggression and processing control over others as means to status attainment while prestige is related to things such as integrity, empathy, and esteem which are deemed as positive characteristics to possess.
This newly proposed scale allows for a comprehensive test of the motivating factors behind individuals’ endorsement and attainment of honor ideology. By understanding one’s pathway to status attainment as a manly and honorable man, future research can use our scale to understand the consequences of honor ideology for dominance versus honor ideology for prestige.