Thursday, November 8, 2018

Are Women More Likely than Men Are to Care Excessively about Maintaining Positive Social Relationships? They are, but gender difference was significantly smaller in collectivist countries

Are Women More Likely than Men Are to Care Excessively about Maintaining Positive Social Relationships? A Meta-Analytic Review of the Gender Difference in Sociotropy. Kaite Yang, Joan S. Girgus. Sex Roles, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11199-018-0980-y

Abstract: Sociotropy is defined as the tendency to overemphasize maintaining positive social relationships (Beck 1983). Although the stereotype that women care more about interpersonal relationships than men do is well-documented (Cross and Madson 1997), the literature provides mixed support as to whether women are more sociotropic than men are. This is important to establish because sociotropy consistently correlates positively with depression (Robins et al. 1994) and thus a gender difference in sociotropy could contribute to the well-documented gender difference in depression (Girgus and Nolen-Hoeksema 2006). The present meta-analysis asks whether the gender difference in sociotropy exists, and if so, at what magnitude, by aggregating 108 independent effect sizes from 90 papers (n = 30,372 participants). The average weighted effect size of the gender difference was d = .34, with women scoring higher than men on sociotropy. Culture was a significant moderator: The gender difference in sociotropy was significantly smaller in research from collectivist countries, where interpersonal harmony and cooperation are emphasized for both genders, than in research from individualistic countries, where men are supposed to be independent and agentic and women are supposed to be communal and concerned with relationships. Further research is needed to explore the development of this gender difference and its relationship to the gender difference in depression.