Engendering Gender Roles

Kevin Lewis

January 23, 2010

Empirical Evidence of the Effects of Marriage on Male and Female Attendance at Sports and Arts

Sarah Montgomery & Michael Robinson
Social Science Quarterly, March 2010, Pages 99-116

Objectives: This article provides an examination of how men and women spend their recreational attendance time and how their behavior differs when they are single and married. The battle of the sexes model and the theory of artistic human capital acquisition from one's spouse both suggest that married individuals will have different patterns of attendance than singles.

Methods: Using data from the Performing Arts Research Coalition, we estimate a number of models to examine the differences between male and female attendance at art, professional sports, and popular culture events for those single and married.

Results: We find that single males prefer sports, while single females prefer the arts. As predicted by the battle of the sexes model, men are more likely and women less likely to attend art events after marriage. This increase in male attendance is also predicted by human capital models of attendance that argue that the choice of art events is based on acquired tastes that can be influenced by the human capital of one's spouse. The battle of the sexes model, however, also predicts a decline in male and an increase in female attendance at professional sports. We find a small increase in female, but also an increase in male, attendance.

Conclusions: The behavior of married and single males and females tends to correspond to the predictions made by the battle of the sexes and human capital models of attendance.


Tolerance of Sexual Harassment: A Laboratory Paradigm

David Angelone, Damon Mitchell & Kara Carola
Archives of Sexual Behavior, December 2009, Pages 949-958

The present study attempted to develop a laboratory analogue for the study of tolerance for sexual harassment by using an online speed-dating paradigm. In that context, the relation between participants' sexual harassment attitudes, perpetrator attractiveness, perpetrator status, and perceived dating potential of the perpetrator were examined as factors influencing participants' tolerance of sexually harassing behavior. Participants were 128 female college students from a small northeastern public university. Results indicated that attractiveness, high social status, and attitudinal beliefs about sexual harassment were all predictive of tolerance for sexual harassment, providing preliminary support for the validity of this paradigm. In addition, participants' self reported likelihood to date a bogus male dating candidate was also predictive of tolerance for sexual harassment, over and above the aforementioned variables, suggesting that dating potential can play a role in perceptions of sexual harassment. Further, this experiment demonstrated that perceptions of sexual harassment can be assessed using the in vivo measurement of behavior. In addition, using an online environment not only provides a contemporary spin and adds a greater degree of external validity compared to other sexual harassment analogues, it also reduces any risk of potential physical sexual contact for participants.


Gender and letters of recommendation for academia: Agentic and communal differences

Juan Madera, Michelle Hebl & Randi Martin
Journal of Applied Psychology, November 2009, Pages 1591-1599

In 2 studies that draw from the social role theory of sex differences (A. H. Eagly, W. Wood, & A. B. Diekman, 2000), the authors investigated differences in agentic and communal characteristics in letters of recommendation for men and women for academic positions and whether such differences influenced selection decisions in academia. The results supported the hypotheses, indicating (a) that women were described as more communal and less agentic than men (Study 1) and (b) that communal characteristics have a negative relationship with hiring decisions in academia that are based on letters of recommendation (Study 2). Such results are particularly important because letters of recommendation continue to be heavily weighted and commonly used selection tools (R. D. Arvey & T. E. Campion, 1982; R. M. Guion, 1998), particularly in academia (E. P. Sheehan, T. M. McDevitt, & H. C. Ross, 1998).


Looking for Gender: Gender Roles and Behaviors Among Online Gamers

Dmitri Williams, Mia Consalvo, Scott Caplan & Nick Yee
Journal of Communication, December 2009, Pages 700-725

Several hypotheses regarding the importance of gender and relationships were tested by combining a large survey dataset with unobtrusive behavioral data from 1 year of play. Consistent with expectations, males played for achievement-oriented reasons and were more aggressive, especially within romantic relationships where both partners played. Female players in such relationships had higher general happiness than their male counterparts. Contrary to stereotypes and current hypotheses, it was the female players who played the most. Female players were also healthier than male players or females in the general population. The findings have implications for gender theory and communication-oriented methods in games and online research-most notably for the use of self-reported time spent, which was systematically incorrect and different by gender.


Get Back into that Kitchen, Woman: Management Conferences and the Making of the Female Professional Worker

Jackie Ford & Nancy Harding
Gender, Work & Organization, forthcoming

Conferences are a little studied aspect of working lives. In this article we explore how management conferences contribute to the continuing imbalance of power between men and women in management. We analyse data gathered from a reflexive ethnographic study of a management conference. We show that women arrive at conferences as knowing subjects, able easily to occupy the subject position of conference participant, but they are then subjected to processes of infantilization and seduction. They are made to feel scared and are given the order, as were their mothers and grandmothers: get back to the kitchen. We avoid using a theoretical explanation for these findings, preferring to offer them without much explanation, for we favour instead a political approach, and we use the findings as a way of making a call to arms to change the ways in which conferences are hostile to women.


Fast-girls, babes and the invisible girls. Gender relations in snowboarding

Mari Kristin Sisjord
Sport in Society, December 2009, Pages 1299-1316

The purpose of this essay is to examine gender relations in snowboarding through conceptions and experiences articulated by female participants. The main objective is to focus on relations between female and male snowboarders as well as relations between different groups of females. The empirical investigation was conducted in conjunction with a workshop organized by the Norwegian Snowboard Federation. Methods employed were participant observation and personal interviews. The results reveal male domination in different snowboarding contexts during practice and competition. Moreover, the analysis revealed different femininities among the female snowboarders, characterized within the subculture as the Babes, Fast-girls, and the Invisible Girls. The results are discussed in relation to perspectives on subculture and Bourdieu's conceptions of field, capital and masculine domination.


Cross-National Patterns of Gender Differences in Mathematics: A Meta-Analysis

Nicole Else-Quest, Janet Shibley Hyde & Marcia Linn
Psychological Bulletin, January 2010, Pages 103-127

A gender gap in mathematics achievement persists in some nations but not in others. In light of the underrepresentation of women in careers in science, technology, mathematics, and engineering, increasing research attention is being devoted to understanding gender differences in mathematics achievement, attitudes, and affect. The gender stratification hypothesis maintains that such gender differences are closely related to cultural variations in opportunity structures for girls and women. We meta-analyzed 2 major international data sets, the 2003 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study and the Programme for International Student Assessment, representing 493,495 students 14-16 years of age, to estimate the magnitude of gender differences in mathematics achievement, attitudes, and affect across 69 nations throughout the world. Consistent with the gender similarities hypothesis, all of the mean effect sizes in mathematics achievement were very small (d < 0.15); however, national effect sizes showed considerable variability (ds = -0.42 to 0.40). Despite gender similarities in achievement, boys reported more positive math attitudes and affect (ds = 0.10 to 0.33); national effect sizes ranged from d = -0.61 to 0.89. In contrast to those of previous tests of the gender stratification hypothesis, our results point to specific domains of gender equity responsible for gender gaps in math. Gender equity in school enrollment, women's share of research jobs, and women's parliamentary representation were the most powerful predictors of cross-national variability in gender gaps in math. Results are situated within the context of existing research demonstrating apparently paradoxical effects of societal gender equity and highlight the significance of increasing girls' and women's agency cross-nationally.


Like Father, Like Son: The Intergenerational Cycle of Adolescent Fatherhood

Heather Sipsma, Katie Brooks Biello, Heather Cole-Lewis & Trace Kershaw
American Journal of Public Health, forthcoming

Objectives: Strong evidence exists to support an intergenerational cycle of adolescent fatherhood, yet such a cycle has not been studied. We examined whether paternal adolescent fatherhood (i.e., father of study participant was age 19 years or younger when his first child was born) and other factors derived from the ecological systems theory predicted participant adolescent fatherhood.

Methods: Data included 1496 young males who were interviewed annually from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997. Cox regression survival analysis was used to determine the effect of paternal adolescent fatherhood on participant adolescent fatherhood.

Results: Sons of adolescent fathers were 1.8 times more likely to become adolescent fathers than were sons of older fathers, after other risk factors were accounted for. Additionally, factors from each ecological domain-individual (delinquency), family (maternal education), peer (early adolescent dating), and environment (race/ethnicity, physical risk environment)-were independent predictors of adolescent fatherhood.

Conclusions: These findings support the need for pregnancy prevention interventions specifically designed for young males who may be at high risk for continuing this cycle. Interventions that address multiple levels of risk will likely be most successful at reducing pregnancies among partners of young men.


Driving Under the Influence of Our Fathers

Matthew Lindquist & Randi Hjalmarsson
Stockholm University Working Paper, September 2009

This paper studies intergenerational correlations in drunk driving between fathers and their children using the Stockholm Birth Cohort. We find strong evidence of an intergenerational drunk driving relationship. Cohort members who have fathers with a drunk driving record have 2.59 times higher odds of having a drunk driving conviction themselves than cohort members with non-drunk driving fathers. We then go on to investigate the underlying mechanisms that give rise to these correlations. The results provide compelling evidence that at least some of this relationship represents a behavior-specific transference from fathers to their children. Specifically, much of the raw father-child drunk driving relationship persists over and above controls for a number of potential explanations, including that the relationship is: (i) a by-product of parental alcoholism, (ii) symptomatic of a general pattern of non-law abiding behavior, (iii) attributable to inherited ability and physical characteristics, and (iv) accounted for by common background variables or social factors. We then go on to show how this mechanism may change over time. As cohort members age into adulthood, the father-child drunk driving relationship appears to be driven by a more general behavioral transference mechanism and can be accounted for by parental alcoholism and non-law abiding behavior.


Cost-Effectiveness of Newborn Circumcision in Reducing Lifetime HIV Risk among U.S. Males

Stephanie Sansom, Vimalanand Prabhu, Angela Hutchinson, Qian An, Irene Hall, Ram Shrestha, Arielle Lasry & Allan Taylor
PLoS ONE, January 2010, e8723

Background: HIV incidence was substantially lower among circumcised versus uncircumcised heterosexual African men in three clinical trials. Based on those findings, we modeled the potential effect of newborn male circumcision on a U.S. male's lifetime risk of HIV, including associated costs and quality-adjusted life-years saved.

Methodology/Principal Findings: Given published estimates of U.S. males' lifetime HIV risk, we calculated the fraction of lifetime risk attributable to heterosexual behavior from 2005-2006 HIV surveillance data. We assumed 60% efficacy of circumcision in reducing heterosexually-acquired HIV over a lifetime, and varied efficacy in sensitivity analyses. We calculated differences in lifetime HIV risk, expected HIV treatment costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) among circumcised versus uncircumcised males. The main outcome measure was cost per HIV-related QALY saved. Circumcision reduced the lifetime HIV risk among all males by 15.7% in the base case analysis, ranging from 7.9% for white males to 20.9% for black males. Newborn circumcision was a cost-saving HIV prevention intervention for all, black and Hispanic males. The net cost of newborn circumcision per QALY saved was $87,792 for white males. Results were most sensitive to the discount rate, and circumcision efficacy and cost.

Conclusions/Significance: Newborn circumcision resulted in lower expected HIV-related treatment costs and a slight increase in QALYs. It reduced the 1.87% lifetime risk of HIV among all males by about 16%. The effect varied substantially by race and ethnicity. Racial and ethnic groups who could benefit the most from circumcision may have least access to it due to insurance coverage and state Medicaid policies, and these financial barriers should be addressed. More data on the long-term protective effect of circumcision on heterosexual males as well as on its efficacy in preventing HIV among MSM would be useful.

to your National Affairs subscriber account.

Already a subscriber? Activate your account.


Unlimited access to intelligent essays on the nation’s affairs.

Subscribe to National Affairs.