News Release

‘Manosphere’ community is misusing scientific research to support its beliefs

Peer-Reviewed Publication

University of Kent

Members of the ‘manosphere’ community are misusing academic research to frame and validate their beliefs about women, according to new research led by the University of Kent’s School of Anthropology and Conservation.

The research, published by Evolutionary Human Sciences, demonstrates how evolutionary studies about women’s behaviour (particularly sexual behaviour such as infidelity) are being scrutinised by the ‘manosphere’ online to justify anti-feminist and sexist beliefs. In contrast, research about male sexual behaviour is being overlooked, signifying a double standard.

The ‘manosphere’ is a network of websites, blogs and online forums promoting masculinity, misogyny, and anti-feminist beliefs. Self-proclaimed misogynist influencer Andrew Tate is a known example of the ‘manosphere’ community. Involuntary celibates (otherwise known as ‘incels’) are also regarded members of this community. Awareness of incel culture has been rising amongst the public in recent years.

These research findings indicate a worrying picture for those vulnerable to being influenced by the ‘manosphere’ community.

The research has been led by Kent PhD student Louis Bachaud, alongside Dr Sarah Johns. Together they have warned academics of the ways that their studies may be being misinterpreted in online spaces, and have offered advice to mitigate the actions. This includes their recommendation that fellow academics should carefully frame their scientific writing and encourage them to publicly address the common misuses of research they encounter.

Louis Bachaud said: ‘The hypothetical nature of evolutionary behavioural science is always obscured. The ‘manosphere’ is taking hypotheses out of context and embedding them in their broader grievances, personal experiences, and sexist tropes. There is a bias towards presenting women as more determined by biology than men, and mostly applying the evolutionary lens towards women, but more rarely towards men and their behaviour. 

‘This research is just a first milestone in the direction of disentangling the complex appropriations of science in the ‘manosphere.’

The research paper titled ‘The use and misuse of evolutionary psychology in online manosphere communities: The case of female mating strategies’ is published by Evolutionary Human Sciences. Doi: 10.1017/ehs.2023.22


For further information or interview requests contact the University of Kent Press Office

About the University of Kent

We stand for ambition. Everyone at the University of Kent is individually and collectively in the pursuit of progress, with a student-focused approach which is supportive, challenging and rewarding, and interdisciplinary research driven by collaboration to create positive impact. Our work is underpinned by connections that enable new ideas from concept to reality and a community spirit that lasts a lifetime.

Our campuses at Canterbury and Medway welcome more than 20,000 students from over 150 countries. We are renowned internationally for the quality of our teaching and research, with many of our academic schools and centres being among the best in their disciplines across the arts and humanities, sciences, and social sciences.

We are proud to be a values-driven university and work hard to ensure that our students are at the heart of all we do. We are committed to offering one of the best education and student experiences in the UK, undertaking research and innovation of the highest standard, and being a civic university that serves and contributes to our communities.

For many years, Kent has been and remains a major economic force in southeast England. We encourage and support local and regional innovation and enterprise and continue to make a positive impact on the region’s academic, cultural, social, and economic landscape.

Follow University of Kent or tag us on X (Twitter)Instagram | TikTok | Facebook |LinkedIn | YouTube


Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.