The Role of Gender in Consumer Behavior

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The Role of Gender in Consumer Behavior Needs, wants, motives, values and actions are all critical components of the human experience. Who we are is very much a combination of our experiences and our genetic code. In this context, understanding the role of gender role in society is extremely important when looking at how people perceive and react to various stimuli. This paper reviews how males and females differ biologically, psychologically and culturally, and how these factors can influence consumer behavior. Due to the complexity of this issue (e.g. ethnic background, family value system, mother/infant relationship, sibling/parental interactions, position as first-, second-, third-born child, sociocultural interaction), the scope of…show more content…
The left hemisphere is generally more involved with processing verbal information while the right hemisphere processes more spatial information. It widely accepted that prenatal hormones play a critical role in lateralization and bilateralization processes and may explain why males tend to be better with spatial information while females typically develop superior verbal skills (females also typically have greater bilateral brain function than do males, McGlone 1977). This reinforces research on how men and women ask for and interpret directions to a location. As previously stated, men typically use distance or orientation (e.g. 10 miles, North or South) while women have a tendency to rely more heavily on landmark information. New research even suggests that males and females often use different parts of their brains to perform similar tasks. One interesting application of how this affects specific behavior can be seen in the variation of gender respond to humor. By comparing brain activity over the course of funny cartoons and unfunny cartoons (as defined by test subjects), researchers observed that something funny caused increased activity in the female reward processing center while unfunny stimuli caused
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