Table_1_Gender Difference in Gender Bias: Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Reduces Male’s Gender Stereotypes.DOCX

Stereotypes exist in the interactions between different social groups, and gender stereotypes are particularly prevalent. Previous studies have suggested that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is involved in the social cognition that plays an important role in gender stereotypes, but the specific causal effect of the mPFC remains controversial. In this study, we aimed to use transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to identify a direct link between the mPFC and gender bias. Implicit stereotypes were measured by the gender implicit association test (IAT), and explicit prejudice was measured by the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory (ASI). We found that male and female participants had different behavioral and neural correlates of gender stereotypes. Anodal tDCS significantly reduced male participants’ gender D-IAT scores compared with cathodal and sham stimulation, while the stimulation had an insignificant effect in female participants. The reduction in male participants’ gender bias mainly resulted from a decrease in the difference in reaction time (RT) between congruent and incongruent blocks. Regarding the explicit bias measurement, male and female participants had distinct attitudes, but tDCS had no effect on ASI. Our results revealed that the mPFC played a causal role in controlling implicit gender stereotypes, which is consistent with previous observations and complements past lesion, neuroimaging, and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies and suggests that males and females have different neural bases for gender stereotypes.