Timothée Demont: timothee.demont[at]univ-amu.fr
Lorenzo Rotunno: lorenzo.rotunno[at]univ-amu.fr
We show that when traditional attitudes are challenged, norm disruptors pay a price. We experimentally foster more progressive gender attitudes among female teachers in Pakistan and show that these attitudes transmit to their students. Progressive gender attitudes, however, elevate stress hormone concentrations in blood plasma by 0.3 standard deviations and lead to a 0.35 standard deviations increase in domestic violence. Leveraging random variation in the fraction of teachers treated within a school, we find, however, that when additional teachers hold progressive attitudes—a moral bandwagoning effect—the costs of holding progressive gender attitudes are attenuated. Overall, our results suggest that deviation from traditional gender attitudes comes at a cost, but this cost diminishes as societal attitudes converge. In particular, domestic violence, more so than stress, stymies gender rights revolutions.