Research on Gender Comparisons

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Research on Gender Comparisons

Gender has long been a dichotomous debate. One gender is more of this, whereas the other gender is more of that. Men stereotypically maintain a reputation as leaders and aggressors, whereas women retain the role of empathetic and nurturing. The author of our book, Donelson, has examined and provided us with a plethora of research on the gender differences in regards to leadership, aggression, empathy, nurturance, agency, and communal orientations in relation to their connected selves. Though this research remains true in many aspects, not all women fit the "normal" orientation for their gender.

According to our book, aggression is generally thought of as a male behavior, although the difference between the two genders is moderate. Men and women react differently to aggression. Men tend to react more physically with aggression, whereas women tend to exercise their aggression in a more covert, relational manner. The book points out that "the best predictor of gender difference in aggression is belief about the consequences of aggression (p. 301)." Basically women think more about outcomes before they act than men do.

Similar to aggression, anger traditionally has been more of an agentic emotion. Men display their anger using physical connotations, while women display their anger in a more introverted, calmer fashion.

Generally, women are thought of as empathetic. According to the research that Donelson provided us in the book, women are better at detecting nonverbal cues than men. However, men are better at detecting anger than women are.

As much as empathy is considered a communal trait, so is nurture. According to our book, three-year-old children held the same degr...

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... in our hometown for eight years, and kept employment as a real estate agent. Those two positions could generally be thought of as possessing an agentic nature because she was a leader of the community as well as an aggressive salesperson. However, as busy as her life got, she always made sure that she made it to her children's practices, games, recitals, etc. She also felt it was important that she was present when we got home and had a home cooked meal on the table every evening. She valued her closeness to her family above and beyond her career and leadership position in the community. She often risked losing a deal on a house, or missing a city council meeting to be with her family. She told me once that it was her closeness to her family that made her successful--- that without her family, she would not have reason to do what she did in the community.
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