Gender Roles And Their Effects On Prosocial Behavior

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Gender Roles and Their Effects on Prosocial Behavior Kathleen N. Webster Salem State University Abstract The present study was designed to examine the effect of gender roles and prosocial behavior. More specifically, the goal was to determine which sex (male or female) would be more likely to engage in prosocial behaviors. Existing gender roles suggest that women are likely to be emotionally expressive, intuitive, and sympathetic, while men are assertive, dominant, and likely to take initiative (Eagly & Crowley, 1986). An observational study was conducted to explore the influence that gender roles have on participants in prosocial situations. Thirty-two participants were chosen at random on a college campus and their behavior was observed and recorded during a realistic “dropped items” situation. We predicted that the stereotypical male gender role would influence and increase the likelihood of men taking action to help the victim more than women. The results showed that, in general, prosocial behavior did not change with gender. Keywords: gender roles, prosocial behavior Gender Roles and Their Effects on Prosocial Behavior With the increasing popularity of gender differences in our society, it is necessary that current research is available to understand the impact of gender and its role on prosocial behavior. Prosocial behavior consists of “voluntary behaviors made with the intention of benefiting others” (Eisenberg & Fabes, 1998). Accepted gender
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