Thursday, December 12, 2019

Factors Influencing Cisgender Individuals’ Interest in Experiencing Being the Other Sex

Factors Influencing Cisgender Individuals’ Interest in Experiencing Being the Other Sex. E. Sandra Byers, Kaitlyn M. Goldsmith, Amanda Miller. Gender Issues, September 2019, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 236–252.

Abstract: In this study we asked people about their hypothetical interest in experiencing being the other sex as a possible means to capture their implicit gender-related attitudes and assumptions. As such, we sought to identify the extent to which gender self-confidence, openness to experience, and conservative attitudes are associated with hypothetically having this experience permanently (i.e., through reincarnation) and temporarily (i.e., for 1 week). Participants were 208 cisgender individuals (107 men, 101 women) who completed an on-line survey. A logistic regression analysis demonstrated that individuals higher in gender self-confidence were less likely to choose to be reincarnated as the other sex. A multiple regression analysis demonstrated that individuals who were older, more religious, had more negative attitudes towards gay men and lesbians, and high higher gender self-confidence were less likely to choose to experience being the other sex for a week. Gender identity, age, religiosity, and openness were not related to interest in being the other sex permanently or temporarily. These results demonstrate the potential utility of this approach for assessing implicit gender-related attitudes. They are discussed in terms of the multiple factors associated with these attitudes.

Keywords: Gender Cisgender Gender self-confidence Implicit gender attitudes Openness to experience


The goal of the current study was to identify factors associated with cisgender individuals’ choices regarding hypothetically experiencing being the other sex permanently (i.e., through reincarnation) and/or temporarily (i.e., for 1 week) because this may represent a novel way to assess implicit gender-related attitudes. We found that
participants’ identifcation with their own gender (i.e., gender self-confidence) and
conservatism were associated with these decisions whereas their openness to experience and whether they identifed as male or female were not. The fnding that individuals’ attitudes toward having a temporary experience as the other sex and permanently becoming the other sex shared only about 18% of their variance suggests that
these two choices are related but distinct. As such, the extent to which individuals
are generally liberal or conservative may have more infuence on their choice about
having a temporary than having a permanent experience of being the other sex.

Gender Self‑Confidence and Openness to Experience

Gender self-confidence refers to the extent to which individuals identify with their
own gender and see themselves as closely adhering to their own ideals [27, 29, 30].
We found that both men and women with higher gender self-confidence were less
likely to choose to experience being the other sex either temporarily or permanently.
In contrast, participants who chose to be reincarnated as the other sex were variable in their gender self-confidence (that is, much fewer were classifed correctly
from their gender self-confidence scores). Furthermore, gender self-confidence
shared only about 12% of its variance with the two outcome variables. This pattern of results falls in line with the reasons individuals give for why they would
choose to hypothetically experience being the other sex or remain the same sex in
our qualitative research [6]. That is, we found that some but not all individuals who
would choose to remain the same sex gave reasons that refected high gender selfconfidence whereas few individuals who chose to experience being the other sex
gave reasons that refected low gender self-confidence. One explanation for these
fndings is that people high in gender self-confidence hold an essentialist view of
gender. If so, these individuals likely feel that, by becoming the other sex, they
would have to give up their valued gender-related characteristics. Similarly, Thomas
and Blakemore [58] found that people expect that traits related to masculinity and
feminity displayed in childhood would continue into adulthood. It would be interesting to assess directly which characteristics individuals low and high in gender self-confidence feel would or would not change if they became the other sex. However,
it is also possible that individuals high in gender self-confidence were less likely to
choose to experience being the other gender because they are happy with their life as
their current gender and/or are generally resistant to change. However, gender selfconfidence was not signifcantly associated with openness to experience making this
last explanation less likely. Research is needed to establish more fully the extent to
which an individual’s hypothetical gender choice refects implicit attitudes toward
gender, regardless of any other reasons for their choice.
In contrast to past research that has found that the personality trait of openness to
experience is associated with greater nonconformity and gender identity exploration
[26, 65], we did not fnd that openness was associated with choosing to experience
being the other sex either temporarily or permanently. This suggests that our outcome measures assess openness to these particular novel experiences and the extent
to which gender characteristics are a key component of an individual’s identity
rather than a preference for novel experiences in general.


Based on previous research on factors associated with a range of sexual and gender attitudes [12, 30, 47, 54, 65], we hypothesized that individuals who hold more
conservative attitudes (i.e., are inclined to preserve the status quo) generally would
be less interested in experiencing being the other sex. To test this, we assessed four
characteristics associated with attitudinal conservatism: age, religiosity, neosexism,
and homonegativity. The results provide support for our hypothesis. That is, all of
these predictors were associated with one or both of our outcome measures at the
bivariate level. Specifcally, older individuals who were more religious and had more
sexist and homophobic attitudes were signifcantly less willing to experience being
the other sex even temporarily—that is, were more inclined to preserve the status
quo. Similarly, individuals holding more sexist and homonegative attitudes were signifcantly less likely to choose to be reincarnated as the other sex. This suggests that
multiple factors infuence the decision to experience being the other sex for a week.
Generally conservatism and desire to preserve the status quo (refected in all of these
measures) is likely one such factor. However, negative attitudes toward sexual and
gender minorities (i.e., neosexism and homonegativity) also appear to be contributing factors. It may be that individuals who are higher in neosexism and homonegativity hold a more essentialist view of both gender and sexual orientation. As
such, these individuals may assume that changing their sex would also mean changing whether they are attracted to men or women. Heterosexual individuals high in
homonegativity would likely be uncomfortable with the idea of being attracted to
members of their current sex. However, the pattern of unique predictors suggests
that conservatism may be most closely associated with interest in experiencing
being the other sex temporarily. That is, age, religiosity and homonegativity were
all uniquely associated with temporary choice over and above the contribution of
gender self-confidence and these relationships did not difer for the men and women;
none of these variables were associated with permanent choice when we controlled
for gender self-confidence.

Women of color experience significantly more incivility than men of color but less than white women; women are more likely than men to experience incivility in departments where women constitute the majority of the workforce

Gender, Race, and Experiences of Workplace Incivility in Public Organizations. Amy Smith et al. November 2019.

Description: Workplace incivility can have deleterious effects on individuals and organizations, but few studies have examined predictors of incivility in public organizations. This study explores how public employees’ incivility experiences vary across social categories, specifically by gender and race. Data were collected with a survey from all employees of four local governments in North Carolina. The results of hierarchical linear modeling show that women experience more incivility than men, and that men and women of color experience fewer incidences of incivility than white men and women. We also find that race moderates the relationship between gender and incivility such that women of color experience significantly more incivility than men of color but less than white women. Finally, women are more likely than men to experience incivility in departments where women constitute the majority of the workforce. Implications of these results for human resource management in public organizations are discussed.

Discussion and Conclusion
Relatively few studies have examined the prevalence of workplace incivility within public sector organizations. Filling this gap is important for several reasons. Although public management scholarship is increasingly focused on the behavior of public employees, there is still a great deal that we do not know about what goes on between employees as they navigate their organizational life (Vickers, 2006). In many ways this prevents us from fully grasping the complete and sometimes complex range of public employees’ interactions and experiences at work. This gap is especially important because workplace incivility can have wide-ranging effects not only for the employees themselves, but also for the public they are meant to serve (Vickers, 2006). Additionally, when individuals of demographic subgroups disproportionately experience incivility, it becomes a subtle form of discrimination and further marginalizes historically disadvantaged groups such as women and people of color. Our data allow us to identify how individual-level characteristics and group-level characteristics can determine the extent to which the local government employees from our survey experienced incivility.  In particular, our results offer insight into what some consider a modern form of workplace discrimination – selective incivility (Cortina, 2008, Cortina et al., 2013; Gabriel, et. al., 2018). 
At the individual level, we find that women experience more incivility than men, white employees experience more incivility than employees of color, and that the difference in incivility is greater between women and men of color than between white women and men. Our findings also indicate that employees in the early or late stages of tenure with the organization as well as those in managerial positions tend to experience less incivility.  In addition to the individual-level factors that impact experience with workplace incivility, we also find that women experience more incivility when there are more women in the immediate workgroup/department on a whole.  We discuss the implications for each of these findings next.
As expected, we find that women experience more incivility than men. We join other studies in suggesting that incivility can be selective, often targeting individuals from particular demographic groups (Cortina, 2008; Cortina et. al., 2013). In this way, incivility can be considered a form of modern discrimination in the workplace further disadvantaging already marginalized groups (Cortina, 2008; Cortina et. al., 2013).  In addition, while there are channels for reporting and addressing explicit forms of discrimination, the subtle and ambiguous nature of incivility make it difficult to articulate its extent in an organization.  Thus, our findings might also suggest that workplace incivility may be underreported in general and even more so by members of marginalized groups. Experiencing incivility, even if not reported, increases turnover intentions; this can have adverse career consequences particularly if it results in a silent exit of women from public organizations (Cortina et al., 2013).
Somewhat surprisingly, we find that employees of color experience less incivility than other racial groups. While theory would suggest employees of color would experience more incivility in the workplace, we join other studies that have also found mixed support for this assertion (Lim & Lee, 2011; Welbourne, Gangadharan, & Sariol, 2015; Kern & Grandey, 2009). 
One explanation for this unexpected finding might be that groups traditionally marginalized because of their race have been conditioned to tolerate uncivil acts by isolating themselves within their organizations. Critical race theorists have suggested that employees of color working in predominately white organizations often participate in avoidance coping strategies following an instance of misbehavior from a colleague (Decuir-Gunby & Gunby, 2016). These coping strategies may involve employees ignoring the situation and distancing themselves from their colleagues (Decuir-Gunby & Gunby, 2016; Evans & Moore, 2015). If employees of color are regularly using avoidance coping strategies this implies they may experience less incivility because they are avoiding interactions that could result in incivility. In short, while employees of color may not be experiencing incivility to the same extent as other racial groups, that could be the case because they are instead experiencing isolation.  
While employees of color report less incivility than white employees, the women of color in our sample reported higher incivility than the men of color. This result is similar to that reported by Cortina and colleagues, in which African American women reported higher levels of incivility than the men of color (2013). The setting for that study was the military, leading the authors to speculate that norms of hyper-masculinity jibed with stereotypes of African American men, leading them to experience a belonging that held incivility at bay. While cities and counties are not necessarily hyper-masculine, they are indeed gendered organizations (Guy 2017) that may advantage men over women of color. This finding suggests a slightly different take on intersectionality in line with Crenshaw’s (1989) work, where multiple identity categories simultaneously can influence one’s experience with workplace incivility. While this is a modest finding with regards to intersectionality dynamics in public administration, it supports Bearfield’s (2009) assertion that the future of PA research on social equity demands an intersectional approach.
While not the primary focus of our study, we also find that those who have been employed for either just a few or for many years as well as those in managerial positions report less experiences of incivility.  Newcomers may not entirely realize that what they are experiencing is a form of incivility, especially if it is subtle and low in intensity. Or, not yet inculcated into the norms and culture of the organization, they may assume such behaviors are normal and thus not consider them to be problematic.  They may also be less willing to speak up even when they do feel they are the subject of misbehavior.  For seasoned organizational members, possibly towards the end of their career, tolerance for incivility might increase simply because they see it as a temporary condition (until they retire) or because it is “the way things have always been around here.”  While subordinates may experience incivility from both managers and peers, managers may be less likely to be the targets of uncivil behavior due to their status and formal power within the organization.

As our data allow us to examine both individual- and group-level effects on incivility, we also find that when there exists gender parity in a department, women, on average, report higher experiences with incivility than men. And interestingly, in departments where women constitute the majority, there is a sharp difference in incivility experiences for men and women.  In such departments, men report significantly fewer experiences with incivility than women.  This finding may be indicative of the dynamic found by other studies that women experience more incivility and interpersonal conflict instigated by women than by men (Gabriel, et al., 2018; Sheppard & Aquino, 2017), thus rendering moot any protection from incivility they may gain from being the majority group. The root of this dynamic may be women’s perception of increased competition for scarce organizational resources or opportunities for advancement when there are more women (Gabriel, et al., 2018; Sheppard & Aquino, 2017). To stave off this competition, women may seek to alienate other women through various mechanisms and behaviors, including incivility (Gabriel, et al., 2018; Derks, et al., 2016).
Due to the wide-ranging effects workplace incivility has on employees, it is important to consider how managers can address incivility in their organizations. While the literature has provided many explanations of how to manage incivility (Pearson & Porath, 2005; Crampton & Hodge, 2008), it fails to recognize that these solutions may not be effective for traditionally marginalized employees. Incorporating an intersectional perspective when addressing incivility promotes the recognition of marginalized identities and emphasizes the need for solutions that are beneficial to all employees.
Managers can operationalize an intersectional perspective to incivility in several ways. First, managers should train employees on incivility in a proactive manner (Cortina & Magley, 2009) that incorporates understandings of implicit bias. Instigators of workplace incivility need to know what types of behaviors are uncivil, and how their personal biases can lead to selective incivility. In addition, managers should create channels allowing employees to provide anonymous feedback on the organization’s management of incivility (Cortina & Magley, 2009; Pearson, Andersson, & Porath, 2000). This method allows managers to know how severe incivility is within their agencies and more effectively address the situation without requiring individual employees to jeopardize their positions. Attempting to incorporate an intersectional perspective will help ensure that employees holding traditionally marginalized identities are not overlooked when resolving issues of workplace incivility.

Animal cognition: Dogs have body-size awareness, and can adapt behavior accordingly

That dog won’t fit: body size awareness in dogs. R. Lenkei, T. Faragó, D. Kovács, B. Zsilák & P. Pongrácz. Animal Cognition, Dec 12 2019.

Abstract: With very few exceptions, no coherent model of representing the self exists for nonhuman species. According to our hypothesis, understanding of the Self as an object’ can also be found in a wide range of animals including the dog, a fast-moving terrestrial predator/scavenger, with highly developed senses and complex cognitive capacity. We tested companion dogs in three experiments in which they faced three different variations of the same physical challenge: passing through an opening in a wall. We predicted that if dogs are capable of representing their own body size, they will react differently when faced with adequate or too small openings. We found that dogs started to move towards and approached the too small openings with significantly longer latencies than the suitable ones; and upon reaching it, they did not try to get through the too small openings. In another experiment, the medium-size (still large enough) opening was approached with latencies that fell between the latencies measured in the cases of the very large or the too small openings. Having discussed the potential underlying mechanisms, we concluded that our results convincingly assume that dogs can represent their own body size in novel contexts.


In a series of experiments where dogs had to pass through a single opening presented on a wall, we found that the size of the opening affected dogs’ behavior both before and during their approach to the opening, and also whether they attempted to get through it. In Experiment 1, similarly to the cognitive bias paradigm (Pogány et al. 2018), dogs were repeatedly exposed to either a too small or a large opening, then at the end they faced a mid-size opening (still large enough to pass through). We found that dogs approached the too small opening significantly later than the large one, and the latency to approach the mid-size opening fell in between. In Experiment 2 the opening was gradually downsized from a comfortably large to a too small opening at which point the dogs did not go through. We found that dogs started to move towards and reached the large enough openings sooner than the one that eventually was proven to be too small. In the final trial, where the opening was enlarged to the last big enough size, significantly more dogs attempted to pass through than in the previous (too small opening) trial. Finally, in Experiment 3 we found that such anatomical features that mostly affect the body proportions, but not the weight of a dog (i.e. achondroplasia), had no effect on how dogs assess the suitability of an opening to pass through. Namely, when we provided dogs with the same size (large enough) rectangular opening in a vertical or horizontal arrangement, we did not find that short-legged dogs approached the horizontal (hence for them still comfortable) opening sooner than the long-legged dogs did.
At this point we know of only one publication where body size awareness (or any sort of body awareness) was tested in dogs (Maeda and Fujita 2010). In that paper the door choice paradigm was used (simultaneously offering two, differently sized doors, both were large enough for the dogs) and authors found a clear preference for the larger door. Those results, therefore, did not indicate body size awareness in dogs, but a possible preference for the more convenient (larger) opening. In the case of human infants, the development of body awareness as a cognitive capacity is usually tested through such erroneous decisions that indicate that children in a given age cohort have more or less difficulty with the representation of their own body as an ‘obstacle’, or they have no clear representation of their own body size (Moore et al. 2007). Brownell et al. (2007), for example, showed that toddlers between 18 and 26 months show a decreasing frequency of the aforementioned errors when trying to pass through an impossibly narrow opening on a wall; meanwhile, they could use a short (0.3 by 0.3 m) opening at this time. In that article, based on the results from four other tasks with the same children, the authors concluded that body awareness develops step by step during the first years of life. We must note, however, that when conclusions are drawn on the basis of only one behavioral parameter (frequency of errors), the resolution of a study is rather low regarding the difficulties of ruling out the alternative explanations. For example, in case of the study of Brownell et al. (2007), it is not known whether the infants made a choice before or during their approach to the openings, or they simply used a trial-and-error strategy. In our experiments with dogs we used multiple parameters that may provide finer details of decision making. By measuring the latency of starting to move towards, and the latency of arriving to the opening, we tackled the possible differences in the a priori decision making of our subjects. Our results are in line with the results of the cognitive bias paradigm where subjects approach the reinforcing stimulus faster than the not reinforcing one and later when they are facing with the ambiguous stimulus they hesitate and the mean latency of approaching falls in between (Mendl et al. 2009, 2010; Pogány et al. 2018). Consequently, when dogs approached a (too small) opening with longer latency, we can conclude that they found it less likely suitable to pass through, and because of the experimental setup, this decision was most probably made by relating the apparent opening size to the mental representation of their own body size. We should remember that ‘too small’ openings except in the habituation phase of Experiment 1 in these experiments were still reasonably ‘big’, calculated by formulas based on the actual size of each individual subject. Additionally, by comparing the attempts to get through the opening in Experiment 2, this showed that when dogs were facing a slightly larger opening after their trial with the too small opening, they did not hesitate to pass through the large enough door. This fact again underlines that dogs decide about the suitability of the individual opening sizes on a case by case basis, likely by using their own body size representation as a template. We must also add at this point that when we mention a ‘template’ of the body size, it is obviously such a mental construct that develops in dogs through a priori encounters with various obstacles beginning from their early ontogeny. However, just because the creation of this template requires experience, it does not mean that the dog has to re-learn each obstacle (i.e. opening size) again and again; on the contrary, the template about its own size makes these types of decisions fast and easy. It is also worthy to mention that the possible connection between experience and the formation of body awareness (i.e. the mental ‘template’) is still unclear even in the case of human infants (see, e.g. Filippetti et al. 2014; Samuels 1986).
In this study our goal was to find evidence in dogs for one of the fundamental building blocks of so-called objective self, body awareness (Moore et al. 2007), while preferably excluding simpler mechanisms for solving the experimental tasks. By providing only one opening at a time, we excluded the option of simply choosing the larger (more convenient, or safer) door (dogs: Maeda and Fujita 2010; children: Brownell et al. 2007), and we did not base our analysis on the number of attempts or the latency of passing through, as we argue that these are mostly dependent on the motivation level of the individual subjects. Similarly, in Experiment 2, we gradually downsized the opening till the subject itself decided that the particular opening size is too small to go through thus we could eliminate the possible differences in the motivation level of the subjects. One could argue that dogs may approach the too small opening with longer latencies because they lost interest in the task towards the end of the experiment; however, we did not find this type of slowing down in the case of the repeated trials with the large enough openings in Experiment 1.
Of course, it is possible that the subjects could try to force themselves through each opening size, and only where they cannot prevail would they give up the attempt. However, we found that this was not the case in Experiment 2, where significantly less dogs even tried to get through the too small opening; meanwhile most of them attempted (and succeeded in) getting through a somewhat larger one. As Franchak and Adolph (2012) underlined, in case of the original door choice tasks, the so-called ‘error’ (i.e. trying to get through the too small opening) has no real, high cost to the individual; consequently, they are not really motivated to avoid it. In children, they found that when the cost was not just getting entrapped in the too narrow opening, but also possibly falling down behind it, the subjects did not try passing through the too small openings. Although in nature entrapment could result in the death of the animal while it tries to squeeze itself through a too narrow opening, there is also the possibility of turning back without serious injury. The results of Franchak and Adolph (2012) supported ours, as dogs did not even attempt to go through if the opening appeared to be too small for them, although the cost would be very low. Furthermore, the latencies of leaving the start point and arriving at the opening showed that dogs distinguished between suitable and unsuitable opening sizes well ahead of actually trying them.
Another possible mechanism that could help the dogs to find out which opening was large enough or too small for them would be the a priori experience with the doors. On the one hand, we could argue that none of our experimental devices were familiar to the dogs; therefore they could not have any knowledge about the suitability of the individual openings. On the other hand, in Experiment 2, where we used all but one opening size only once—except in the last trial dogs did not even have the opportunity to use their freshly gained experience for any of the particular opening sizes coming from the previous trial. Still, it is possible that they would develop some sort of memory-based preference for the ‘conveniently’ sized openings along the serial exposures to the smaller and smaller openings of the actual test; however, this is unlikely because it would result in a steadily increasing latency of approaching. Instead, what we found was a sharp decline of willingness to approach and use the ‘too small’ door in Experiment 2.
Also, one could argue that instead of comparing the size of an actually seen opening to its own body size, dogs with a mechanism different from body-size awareness could somehow estimate the absolute size of an opening and based on that, they could make a decision before they reached the opening in question. The results of Experiment 3 contradict this explanation. Here, dogs faced four times the same size opening, where only the alignment of the opening changed from vertical to horizontal in the last trial. If dogs would mostly rely on a representation of a particular opening size, they would recognize that the two variants are equally large, and they would approach the horizontal opening with the same speed as the vertical ones. However, we found that dogs arrived to the horizontal opening later than to the vertical ones. Another alternative mechanism could be that instead of the size of the opening’s surface, dogs base their decision on the height and width of the opening, and when we ‘rotated’ the vertical opening to the horizontal alignment, the height of the new opening fell into the less suitable category resulting in a slower approach from the subjects.
Another possible explanation is that dogs might simply learn about particular opening sizes during their everyday interactions with their physical environment; thus in our experiments they could rely on their positive or negative experiences from the past and when they go through a new opening they compare its size with the previously learned sizes. Although learning from the experiences of interactions with the physical environment is plausible during the development of the own body size template, based on our results we argue that in our case not only external cues, i.e. learning about the particular openings during the tests shaped the decision making of the dogs. In Experiment 3, we found that short-legged dogs arrived to the horizontal opening later than the long-legged dogs. If dogs’ responses would mostly depend on previous experiences regarding suitable openings, we would expect just the opposite: short-legged dogs would remain similarly fast regardless of the alignment of the opening (as the horizontal opening was still comfortably high for them); meanwhile long-legged dogs would slow down due to the ungainly alignment of the horizontal opening. As our results showed the opposite, the theory of previous experience-driven decision making is less likely; instead, the later arrival to the opening in both groups can be rather explained with the effect of surprise (i.e. the alignment of the opening had been changed), and also with the possibly slower locomotion of the short legged dogs. Similarly, in Experiment 2 during the last trial when the door size was enlarged again one could expect that dogs should have been as fast as when they were facing that particular size for the first time. In other words, if dogs would rely only on their past experiences regarding the opening sizes, they would pass through the large enough door sooner in the last trial than in the too small one just before. However, we found that there was no difference between the latencies in the case of the last two trials probably because of the negative experience of facing a too small opening in the previous trial. This hesitation may also support the existence of a priori decision making of the dogs before they actually approach an opening.