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The relation between gender and emotion in different cultures

Fischer, A. H. and Manstead, Antony Stephen Reid 2000. The relation between gender and emotion in different cultures. In: Fischer, A. H. ed. Gender and Emotion: Social Psychological Perspectives, Studies in Emotion and Social Interaction, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 71-94. (10.1017/CBO9780511628191.005)

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The Western dichotomy Western cultures share the stereotypical belief that women are more emotional than men. This stereotype has long featured in Western philosophy, where a binary opposition between emotion and reason has been closely associated with the opposition between masculinity and femininity (Lloyd, 1984; Shields, 1984). The stereotype of the “emotional woman” and the “rational man” was fueled by the increase of sex segregation in the public and private realms which went hand in hand with the industrialization of Western societies from the middle of the nineteenth century onwards. Women were seen as the keepers of the heart. Their strong intuitions and sensitivities to the needs of others made them especially suited to the task of raising children and providing both children and husbands with affectionate and secure relationships within the home (Rosenberg, 1982) The current stereotype still holds that emotionality, and particularly emotional expressiveness, is the core of the differences between the sexes (Ashmore, Del Boca, & Wohlers, 1986; Broverman, Vogel, Broverman, Clarkson, & Rosenkrantz, 1972; Fabes & Martin, 1991; Williams & Best, 1982, 1997). Femininity and female roles are associated with the ability to experience, express, and communicate emotions to others, and to empathize with others' feelings, whereas masculinity and male roles are defined as the ability to suppress and control one's emotions. If, however, degree of emotionality results from specific gender roles, we would expect it to vary with the extent to which gender roles are differentiated in a country (cf. Williams & Best, 1990). The focus of this chapter is on the cross-cultural generalizability of this dichotomy between female emotionality and male rationality.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521630153
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Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:12

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