Gender Differences in Personality Traits Across Cultures: Robust and Surprising Findings

2015-11-02 15:47:40
Gender Differences in Personality Traits Across Cultures: Robust and Surprising Findings
Publication date2001
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AbstractSecondary analyses of Revised NEO Personality Inventory data from 26 cultures (N = 23,031) suggest that gender differences are small relative to individual variation within genders; differences are replicated across cultures for both college-age and adult samples, and differences are broadly consistent with gender stereotypes: Women reported themselves to be higher in Neuroticism, Agreeableness, Warmth, and Openness to Feelings, whereas men were higher in Assertiveness and Openness to Ideas. Contrary to predictions from evolutionary theory, the magnitude of gender differences varied across cultures. Contrary to predictions from the social role model, gender differences were most pronounced in European and American cultures in which traditional sex roles are minimized. Possible explanations for this surprising finding are discussed, including the attribution of masculine and feminine behaviors to roles rather than traits in traditional cultures.
TagCloudgender; personality traits; culture
Méthodoogy & Field of research (targeted population & number)
Discussiongender differences are modest in magnitude, consistent with gender stereotypes, and replicable across cultures ; most of the gender differences we found can be grouped in four categories: Women tend to be higher in negative affect, submissiveness, and nurturance, and more concerned with feelings than with ideas ; Researchers in the United States have failed to find evidence that men are more reluctant than women to report distress ; men were found to be higher in assertiveness and women higher in nurturance ; self-reported gender differences are more pronounced in Western, individualistic countries ; Analyses of cultural variation in gender differences showed that differentiation is both reliable and general ; Differences across cultures in the frequency of psychiatric diagnoses might be due to differential access to health care ; gender stereotypes were most differentiated in Western, individualistic cultures ; personality traits in general are less relevant to members of collectivist cultures
LimitesThe range of cultures is limited, with only one Latin American and two Black African cultures ; women are overrepresented ; The subsamples differ in age distributions ; data analyzed were collected at different times
Ouverture / PerspectiveThe future of research on gender differences in personality lies beyond self-reports
Conclusion
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Gender Differences in Personality Traits Across Cultures: Robust and Surprising Findings

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