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Gender Roles and Behavior in Social Dilemmas: Are There Sex Differences in Cooperation and in Its Justification?

Jean Stockard, Alphons J. C. van de Kragt and Patricia J. Dodge
Social Psychology Quarterly
Vol. 51, No. 2 (Jun., 1988), pp. 154-163
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2786837
Page Count: 10
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Gender Roles and Behavior in Social Dilemmas: Are There Sex Differences in Cooperation and in Its Justification?
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Abstract

Data from two experimental social dilemmas-a set of 66 nine-person dilemmas and a set of 64 seven-person dilemmas-were used to examine sex differences in cooperation. Women were only slightly more likely than men to cooperate with others, and variables related to the experimental setting were much more important influences on behavior than sex. Whether or not the women cooperated, they were more likely than men to justify their behavior as being altruistic and principled, to believe that they were more oriented toward harmonious group relations, and to be less nervous and upset at the end of the experiment. It is suggested that those who speculate on sex differences in cooperation may have overstated these differences and that the relationship between self-schema and behavior may vary depending on the extent to which the attributes studied relate to gender identity.

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