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Title:Gender differences in agency and communion: A meta-analysis
Author(s):Hsu, Ning
Advisor(s):Newman, Daniel A
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
social role theory
Abstract:The existence of gender gaps in agency and communion is commonly known, yet it remains unknown what the average magnitudes, stability (over time and developmental age), and variability (across cultures, sampling strategies, and measures) of these gender differences are. Leveraging social role theory (Eagly, 1987; Wood & Eagly, 2012), the current meta-analysis estimated that men tended to be more agentic than women (g = .40, k = 767 samples, N = 206,955 participants), while women tended to be more communal than men (g = -.58, k = 774 samples, N = 209,339 participants). Moderator analyses revealed that these gender differences in agency and communion have been steadily decreasing over time. The gender gap in agency remained stable with age, while the gender gap in communion decreased with age. Further, gender’s relationships with both agency and communion did not vary across countries based on gender parity. In terms of sampling strategy, the gender gap in agency was larger when sampling participants as heterosexual couples versus when sampling as individuals. An important methodological moderator was measurement instrument (e.g., short-form BSRI shows much smaller gender gaps than other measures). Theory and implications of the moderated gender differences in agency and communion (i.e., gender-role stereotyped traits, once referred to as masculinity and femininity) are discussed.
Issue Date:2021-03-31
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Ning Hsu
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-09-17
Date Deposited:2021-05

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