Guys and Gals

Kevin Lewis

September 20, 2010

The psychology of voice and performance capabilities in masculine and feminine cultures and contexts

Kees van den Bos, Joel Brockner, Jordan Stein, Dirk Steiner, Nico Van Yperen & Daphne Dekker
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

In this article, we examine the hypothesis that in masculine cultures or in other contexts that emphasize competitive achievement, those with higher performance capabilities will feel empowered to have input in decisions and, hence, will desire opportunities to voice their opinions about decisions to be made. In contrast, in more feminine cultures or in other contexts that value the importance of nurturing people with lower capability, those with lower capabilities will feel valued as important group members, will feel worthy of receiving voice and, hence, will appreciate voice opportunities. We provide evidence for these predictions in 2 studies, 1 conducted in the United States (a more masculine culture) and 1 in the Netherlands (a more feminine culture). Evidence also comes from experimental conditions in both studies, in which we made salient to participants countercultural norms and values, that is, nurturing the less capable in the United States and competitive achievement in the Netherlands. Implications for the psychology of voice and cross-cultural research are discussed.


Male Narcissism and Attitudes Toward Heterosexual Women and Men, Lesbian Women, and Gay Men: Hostility toward Heterosexual Women Most of All

Scott Keiller
Sex Roles, October 2010, Pages 530-541

The present study investigated links between heterosexual men's narcissism and attitudes toward heterosexual and non-heterosexual women and men. Male narcissism was predicted to be associated with hostility toward heterosexual women more than toward other groups, indicating investment in patriarchal power more than in conservative gender ideology or nonspecific disdain toward all people. Hierarchical regression analyses of responses from 104 male undergraduates (95% Caucasian) from Ohio in the U.S. supported the hypothesis that men's narcissism is related most robustly to hostility toward women, rather than to equivalent derogation of all groups. Moreover, men's narcissism is not merely a maker of traditional gender ideology, but instead is associated with favorable attitudes toward lesbian women and is unrelated to attitudes toward gay men.


The Legislative Effectiveness of Gay and Lesbian Legislators

Rebekah Herrick
Journal of Women, Politics & Policy, July 2010, Pages 243-259

This article examines the legislative effectiveness of gay and lesbian state legislators. Legislative effectiveness is measured by legislators' perceptions of their effectiveness, their ability to block legislation, and their ability to see the bills they introduce pass. Although the number of openly gay and lesbian legislators is small, making this study exploratory, the findings are illuminating. Without controlling for legislators' relationships with colleagues or their ideology, lesbians, but not gay men, were less effective than other legislators, but after controlling for these factors lesbians were not significantly less effective than others.


Gender and Export Propensity

Barbara Orser, Martine Spence, Allan Riding & Christine Carrington
Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, September 2010, Pages 933-957

This article draws on theories about the internationalization process of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and feminist arguments to explain gender differences in export propensity. Findings are based on a large-scale survey of Canadian SMEs. After controlling for sector, firm, and owner attributes, female majority-owned firms were significantly less likely to export than firms owned by men. The implications for entrepreneurship and feminist theory, export policy, and research are considered.


Modeling Nonprofit Employment: Why Do So Many Lesbians and Gay Men Work for Nonprofit Organizations?

Gregory Lewis
Administration & Society, October 2010, Pages 720-748

Why are people with same-sex partners more likely than married people to work for nonprofit organizations (NPOs)? Analysis of 2000 Census data suggests that smaller gay-straight pay disparities for men in the nonprofit sector, occupational choices, and ability to afford nonprofit employment explain some overrepresentation of partnered gay men but not of partnered lesbians. Even after controlling for all these factors, people with same-sex partners remain more likely than married people to work for NPOs, suggesting that a strong desire to serve others is an important factor.


Competitiveness, Gender, and Adjustment Among Adolescents

David Hibbard & Duane Buhrmester
Sex Roles, September 2010, Pages 412-424

This study explored whether trait competitiveness in late adolescence is more detrimental to females' than males' social and psychological adjustment. Two types of competitiveness were studied, competing to win (CW; to dominate others) and competing to excel (CE; to surpass personal goals). Questionnaire ratings (by self and others) of 110 (53 females, 57 males, Mage 17.9 years) predominantly Caucasian (88.9%) high school students in northern Texas, USA were gathered. Males were higher on CW than females, but there were no gender differences on CE. For females, CW was associated with greater depression and loneliness, and with fewer and less close friendships. CE was associated with higher self-esteem and less depression for both genders, but was largely unrelated to social adjustment.


The threat vs. challenge of car parking for women: How self- and group affirmation affect cardiovascular responses

Belle Derks, Daan Scheepers, Colette Van Laar & Naomi Ellemers
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, forthcoming

This study examines cardiovascular responses indicating challenge (vs. threat) during motivated performance of women under social identity threat. Low gender identified women should primarily be concerned with their personal identity and self-worth, leading them to benefit from self-affirmation under social identity threat. Highly identified women, conversely, should care more for the value of their group and benefit more from group affirmation. Among 64 female participants social identity threat was induced by emphasizing gender differences in car parking ability. Then, participants received an opportunity to affirm the self or the group and worked on a car-parking task. During this task, cardiovascular challenge versus threat responses were assessed according to the biopsychosocial model (Blascovich, 2008). Results confirmed predictions by showing that self-affirmation elicited cardiovascular patterns indicating challenge in low identifiers, while group affirmation elicited challenge in high identifiers. Theoretical implications for work on social identity are discussed.


Selective self-stereotyping and women's self-esteem maintenance

Debra Oswald & Kristine Chapleau
Personality and Individual Differences, December 2010, Pages 918-922

The process and implications of gender-based self-stereotyping are examined in this paper. Women displayed a tendency to selectively self-stereotype for personality and physical traits such that they endorsed positive stereotypic traits and denied negative traits as descriptive of the self and closest women friends. However, negative traits were endorsed as descriptive of women in general. Cognitive stereotypes were endorsed as more descriptive of all women than of the general university student. The tendency to selectively self-stereotype on physical traits was positively associated with appearance, social, and performance self-esteem. The results are discussed for their theoretical and practical implications.


The Impact of Gender on Voluntary and Involuntary Executive Departure

John Becker-Blease, Susan Elkinawy & Mark Stater
Economic Inquiry, October 2010, Pages 1102-1118

We examine the frequency and conditions of executive departure from S&P 1500 firms. Based upon published news reports, we find that female executives are more likely than male executives to depart their positions voluntarily and involuntarily in the presence of controls for firm performance, firm governance, and human capital. We also find that women are less likely than men to depart voluntarily as firm size increases or board size decreases but more likely to be dismissed as the board becomes more male dominated.


The effect of priming gender roles on women's implicit gender beliefs and career aspirations

Laurie Rudman & Julie Phelan
Social Psychology, Summer 2010, Pages 192-202

We investigated the effect of priming gender roles on women's implicit gender stereotypes, implicit leadership self-concept, and interest in masculine and feminine careers. Women primed with traditional gender roles (e.g., a male surgeon and a female nurse) showed increased automatic gender stereotypes relative to controls; this effect mediated their reduced interest in masculine occupations. By contrast, exposure to nontraditional roles (e.g., a female surgeon and a male nurse) decreased women's leadership self-concept and lowered their interest in masculine occupations, suggesting that female vanguards (i.e., successful women in male-dominated careers) can provoke upward comparison threat, rather than inspire self-empowerment. Thus, priming either traditional or nontraditional gender roles can threaten progress toward gender equality, albeit through different mechanisms (stereotypes or self-concept, respectively).


Testosterone and cortisol jointly regulate dominance: Evidence for a dual-hormone hypothesis

Pranjal Mehta & Robert Josephs
Hormones and Behavior, forthcoming

Traditional theories propose that testosterone should increase dominance and other status-seeking behaviors, but empirical support has been inconsistent. The present research tested the hypothesis that testosterone's effect on dominance depends on cortisol, a glucocorticoid hormone implicated in psychological stress and social avoidance. In the domains of leadership (Study 1, mixed-sex sample) and competition (Study 2, male-only sample), testosterone was positively related to dominance, but only in individuals with low cortisol. In individuals with high cortisol, the relation between testosterone and dominance was blocked (Study 1) or reversed (Study 2). Study 2 further showed that these hormonal effects on dominance were especially likely to occur after social threat (social defeat). The present studies provide the first empirical support for the claim that the neuroendocrine reproductive (HPG) and stress (HPA) axes interact to regulate dominance. Because dominance is related to gaining and maintaining high status positions in social hierarchies, the findings suggest that only when cortisol is low should higher testosterone encourage higher status. When cortisol is high, higher testosterone may actually decrease dominance and in turn motivate lower status.


Do males and females think in the same way? An empirical investigation on the gender differences in Web advertising evaluation

Yongqiang Sun, Kai Lim, Chunping Jiang, Jerry Zeyu Peng & Xiaojian Chen
Computers in Human Behavior, November 2010, Pages 1614-1624

Informativeness and entertainment are regarded as two types of advertising value that can influence consumers' attitudes toward Web advertising. Despite of many studies on these two factors, there are two research gaps in extant literature. First, the effects of informativeness and entertainment on attitude are considered separately, yet their interaction effect is neglected. Second, the role of individual characteristics (e.g., gender) in the advertising evaluation process is far from clear. To address these two issues, a laboratory experiment was conducted to investigate the interaction effect between informativeness and entertainment, and also the moderating role of gender. The results indicate that informativeness can help form a more positive attitude for males than for females, and entertainment can lead to a more positive attitude for females than for males. It is also found that there is a three-way interaction among informativeness, entertainment, and gender. More specifically, the interaction effect between informativeness and entertainment is significant for females, but insignificant for males. Results, research contributions, and limitations are discussed, and implications for future studies are suggested.


Sex, Sexual Orientation, and Sexism: What Influence Do These Factors Have on Verdicts in a Crime-of-Passion Case?

Laurie Ragatz & Brenda Russell
Journal of Social Psychology, July-August 2010, Pages 341-360

This study investigated the influence of defendant sex, sexual orientation, and participant sex on perceptions of a crime-of-passion. An online sample of 458 individuals read a scenario describing a homicide and provided judgments of verdict, sentence length, legal elements, and sexism. We hypothesized heterosexual female defendants would most likely receive a verdict of manslaughter, be found less guilty, and receive shorter sentences. We were also interested in whether benevolent sexism would contribute to defendant culpability decisions. Lastly, perceptions of legal elements for manslaughter (e.g., great provocation) and murder (e.g., intentionality of actions) were explored. Results demonstrated heterosexual female defendants were less guilty and received the shortest sentences. Also, heterosexual defendants were most likely to meet the manslaughter legal elements. Benevolent sexism contributed significantly to guilt perceptions.


Gender and the social costs of claiming value: An experimental approach

Fiona Greig
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, forthcoming

This paper employs economic experiments to explore the social costs of claiming value in distributive negotiations. I use a reverse dictator game, a "Taking" game, to measure value claiming behavior and an Investment game to measure the social costs of claiming value in terms of trust offered by third parties to Takers. I observe social costs to claiming value and find that male Trustors impose higher social costs than female Trustors. Women reduce how much value they claim in the presence of social costs, but men do not. Takers anticipate this response and claim less when observed by a man.


Explaining Underrepresentation: A Theory of Precluded Interest

Sapna Cheryan & Victoria Plaut
Sex Roles, October 2010, Pages 475-488

What processes best explain women's underrepresentation in science, math, and engineering fields in the U.S.? Do they also explain men's underrepresentation in the humanities? Two survey studies across two U.S. West Coast universities (N = 62; N = 614) addressed these questions in the context of two fields: one male-dominated (computer science) and the other female-dominated (English). Among a set of social predictors - including perceived similarity to the people in the field, social identity threats, and expectations of success - the best mediator of women's lower interest in computer science and men's lower interest in English was perceived similarity. Thus, changing students' social perceptions of how they relate to those in the field may help to diversify academic fields.


Even in virtual environments women shop and men build: A social role perspective on Second Life

Rosanna Guadagno, Nicole Muscanell, Bradley Okdie, Nanci Burk & Thomas Ward
Computers in Human Behavior, forthcoming

The present study examined whether traditional gender role expectations (Eagly, 1987) influence behaviors in non-traditional contexts such as online virtual environments. Participants were 352 Second Life users who reported their activities and experiences in Second Life. Results indicated that men and women differed in the types of activities they engaged in a manner predicted by social role theory. Specifically, as compared to women, men were more likely to report building things (e.g. objects), to own and work on their own virtual property, and were less likely to change their avatar's appearance. Women, as compared to men, were more likely to meet people, shop, regularly change their avatar's appearance, and buy clothes/objects for their avatar. The present study adds to our understanding of how traditional gender role expectations may carry over to online virtual worlds and influence online behavior.


The Effect of Gender Diversity on Angel Group Investment

John Becker-Blease & Jeffrey Sohl
Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, forthcoming

We examine the impact that gender diversity has on angel group investment behavior for a sample of 183 group-years between 2000 and 2006. Our evidence suggests that gender diversity is a significant predictor of group investment behavior, and that the proportion of women angels in the group has a negative though nonlinear effect on investment likelihood. These data are most consistent with a situational interpretation that women invest differently when they are in the small minority compared with other situations. These results have important implications for the availability of funds for women entrepreneurs and call for greater participation of women investors in the angel marketplace.


Gender moderates the impact of need for structure on social beliefs: Implications for ethnocentrism and authoritarianism

Markus Kemmelmeier
International Journal of Psychology, June 2010, Pages 202-211

The present research examines the interplay between individual differences in need for structure, social beliefs, and gender. It is well documented that need for structure, that is, a preference for structure and simplicity in one's thinking, predicts authoritarianism and ethnocentrism. Further, women tend to score lower in authoritarianism and ethnocentrism than men. Although there seem to be no gender differences in need for structure, the present research hypothesizes that the association between need for structure and social beliefs is stronger for men than for women. This hypothesis comes from the observation that, all else being equal, men tend to think more about the domain of beliefs such as authoritarianism and ethnocentrism, which should strengthen the relationship between men's cognitive needs and their social beliefs. The hypothesis is also motivated by the finding that, more than men, women often give priority to caring and compassion when forming beliefs about outgroups. This should weaken the link between women's cognitive needs and their social beliefs. Three studies conducted in the USA (n = 398) and one study conducted in Germany (n = 112) examined whether gender moderated the influence of need for structure on authoritarianism and racism. Using a variety of measures, need for structure predicted authoritarianism and racism for men, but not for women. The discussion focuses on the implications of the present findings for the relationship between cognitive orientations and social beliefs. It is argued that research on cognitive orientation and social beliefs needs to take gender into account to improve its accuracy of prediction.

to your National Affairs subscriber account.

Already a subscriber? Activate your account.


Unlimited access to intelligent essays on the nation’s affairs.

Subscribe to National Affairs.