We introduce, in this study, a gendering human rights model in which perceiving outgroups as having stereotypical feminine traits predicts decreased support for violating their human rights through the mediation of threat perception. This model is tested in the context of the asymmetrical protracted Israeli-Palestinian conflict using Jewish-Israeli public opinion polling data (N=517). In line with our expectations, the findings indicate that Jewish-Israeli perceptions of Palestinians as having stereotypical feminine traits predict lower levels of threat perception from Palestinians and consequently less support for violating their human rights. We discuss the implications of our findings for understanding factors that attenuate support for violation of human rights of an outgroup in other situations of violent asymmetric conflict.

Author Bio(s)

Yossi David, bio

Yossi David is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research interest includes political communication, public opinion, conflict resolution, gender studies, and queer theory. His work has been supported by the Harry and Sylvia Hoffmann Leadership Fellowship Program and by the Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace.

Nimrod Rosler, bio

Dr. Nimrod Rosler is a lecturer (tenure-track) at the Program in Conflict Resolution and Mediation, Department of Public Policy, Tel Aviv University. Previously a Lady Davis post-doctoral fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Visiting Israel Professor at the Center for Global and International Studies, the University of Kansas, he has published in Journal of Conflict Resolution and Journal of Peace Research. His research interests include conflict-related diaspora communities, political and psychological dynamics of intractable conflicts and their resolution, and leadership in conflict and peacemaking.

Donald Ellis, bio

Donald Ellis is a Professor in the School of Communication at the University of Hartford. Professor Ellis is the past editor of the journal Communication Theory, an ICA fellow, and the author of numerous books and articles pertaining to communication issues and ethnopolitical conflict. He has been a Fulbright scholar, a recipient of the Lady Davis Fellowship at Hebrew University, and the winner of the Tonkin award for scholarship. His primary research interests include communication issues around managing political conflict, deliberative democracy, intergroup conflict, and the role of new media and political conflict.

Ifat Maoz, bio

Ifat Maoz is a Full Professor, Head of the Department of Communication, Director of the Swiss Center and Graduate and Masters Program of Conflict Research, Management and Resolution, and holds the Danny Arnold Chair in Communication. Prof. Maoz is a social psychologist researching psychology and media in conflict and intergroup relations. She has been a visiting scholar at the Psychology Department of Stanford University (1996, 2013-14) and a senior research fellow at the Asch Center for the Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict at the University of Pennsylvania and Bryn Mawr College (2002-3, 2006-8). Her current main interests include psychological, moral and media-related aspects in conflict and peace-making, cognitive processing of social and political information, dynamics of intergroup communication and discussions in conflict, models of intergroup dialogues and encounters, public opinion in conflict and peace making, social media in conflict and group and intergroup dialogues through social media in conflict.


The authors wish to thank the Swiss Center for Conflict Research, the Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace, the Harry and Sylvia Hoffmann Leadership Fellowship program, the Lady Davis Fellowship program, and the Smart Family Institute of Communications, all at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, for the generous support in doing this research. The authors, however, take full responsibility for the contents of this article.


Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Gender, Gender perception, Public Opinion, Threat perception, Human rights, Asymmetric conflict

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