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Concept: Role


Fathers' involvement in and influence on the health and development of their children have increased in a myriad of ways in the past 10 years and have been widely studied. The role of pediatricians in working with fathers has correspondingly increased in importance. This report reviews new studies of the epidemiology of father involvement, including nonresidential as well as residential fathers. The effects of father involvement on child outcomes are discussed within each phase of a child’s development. Particular emphasis is placed on (1) fathers' involvement across childhood ages and (2) the influence of fathers' physical and mental health on their children. Implications and advice for all child health providers to encourage and support father involvement are outlined.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Child, Childhood, Gender role, Developmental psychology, Human development, Father, Role


Prior research shows that male intercollegiate athletes are at risk for perpetrating sexual violence. Whether this risk extends to male recreational athletes has not been explored. This study assessed associations between attitudes toward women, rape myth acceptance, and prevalence of sexual coercion among 379 male, undergraduate recreational and intercollegiate athletes and non-athletes. Our analyses showed significant differences between the responses of athletes and non-athletes for all dependent variables, and intercollegiate and recreational athletes on attitudes toward women and the prevalence of sexual coercion. Controlling for rape myth acceptance and traditional gender role attitudes eliminated differences between athletes and non-athletes in prevalence of sexual coercion.

Concepts: Female, Gender, Gender role, Woman, Transgender, Role, Masculinity, Gender studies



This study examined the contribution of gender role self-concept (expressiveness and instrumentality) on active interest in and use of Internet-delivered health information among young men and women. Four hundred and twenty university students reported health behaviours and perceived personal vulnerability regarding five diseases. We analysed active interest in receiving health-related information concerning these diseases (providing email address to receive a link to health-related websites) and actual use of provided websites two weeks afterwards. Usage of health-related information via the Internet was objectively assessed by recording log-ins on the website and obtaining individual click counts. In both sexes, higher expressiveness was independently associated with being more likely to show active interest in health-related information. Additionally, expressiveness was positively associated with website use in men independent of age, personal vulnerability and reported health behaviours. Thus, an expressive self-concept facilitates the use of health-related information, especially among men.

Concepts: Gender, Gender role, Gender identity, World Wide Web, Transgender, Internet, Man, Role


Research on sex differences in empathy has revealed mixed findings. Whereas experimental and neuropsychological measures show no consistent sex effect, self-report data consistently indicates greater empathy in women. However, available results mainly come from separate populations with relatively small samples, which may inflate effect sizes and hinder comparability between both empirical corpora. To elucidate the issue, we conducted two large-scale studies. First, we examined whether sex differences emerge in a large population-based sample (n = 10,802) when empathy is measured with an experimental empathy-for-pain paradigm. Moreover, we investigated the relationship between empathy and moral judgment. In the second study, a subsample (n = 334) completed a self-report empathy questionnaire. Results showed some sex differences in the experimental paradigm, but with minuscule effect sizes. Conversely, women did portray themselves as more empathic through self-reports. In addition, utilitarian responses to moral dilemmas were less frequent in women, although these differences also had small effect sizes. These findings suggest that sex differences in empathy are highly driven by the assessment measure. In particular, self-reports may induce biases leading individuals to assume gender-role stereotypes. Awareness of the role of measurement instruments in this field may hone our understanding of the links between empathy, sex differences, and gender roles.

Concepts: Measurement, Sexual dimorphism, Gender, Sex, Gender role, Social psychology, Role, Gender differences


Possible links of cyberbullying with suicide and psychological problems have recently received considerable attention. Suicide-related behaviors have also been linked with viewing of associated web content. Studies on traditional bullying indicate that the roles of bullying involvement (bullies, victims, and bully-victims) matter in terms of associations with specific suicide-related behaviors and psychological problems. Yet, related research in the area of cyberbullying is lacking. The current study investigates the association of cyberbullying roles with viewing of specific suicide-related web content and psychological problems. Data from N = 19,406 (50 percent girls) 11-16-year-olds (M = 13.54, SD = 1.68) of a representative sample of Internet-using children in Europe were analyzed. Self-reports were obtained for cyberbullying role, viewing of web content related to self-harm, and suicide, as well as the emotional, peer, and conduct problem subscales of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Multinomial logistic regression analyses revealed that compared with those not involved in cyberbullying, viewing of web content related to suicide was higher for cybervictims and cyberbully-victims, but not for cyberbullies. Viewing of web content related to self-harm was higher for all cyberbullying roles, especially for cyberbully-victims. Rates of emotional problems were higher among cybervictims and cyberbully-victims, rates of peer problems were higher for cybervictims, and rates of conduct problems were higher for all cyberbullying roles. Moreover, the links between cyberbullying role and viewing of suicide-related web content were independent of psychological problems. The results can be useful to more precisely target efforts toward the specific problems of each cyberbullying role. The outcomes on viewing of web content also indicate an opportunity to enhance the presence of health service providers on Internet platforms.

Concepts: Psychology, Regression analysis, Logistic regression, Sociology, Multinomial logit, Role, Bullying, Web content


The sexual double standard (SDS) suggests that women are evaluated negatively and men positively for engaging in similar sexual behaviors. According to social role theory, the SDS exists due to gender role structures. Consequently, perceived violations of women’s sexual behavior are associated with the SDS. In addition to gender role violations of sexual behavior, two additional violations of gender roles exist: heterosexual sexual orientation norms and gender role characteristics. The current study aims to investigate whether the SDS persists for sexual orientation-violating and gender role characteristic-violating targets, and to examine which of the three gender role violations influence evaluations of others' sexual behavior. A US-sample of 483 participants evaluated target individuals who were either female/male, heterosexual/gay man or lesbian, feminine/masculine, and had 1/12 sexual partners. Results indicate that SDS persists for gender role violating targets, but is exhibited differently for targets violating heterosexual sexual orientation norms and gender role characteristics.

Concepts: Gender, Gender role, Human behavior, Gender identity, Sexual orientation, Transgender, Role, Heterosexuality


We examined differences in perceived stress and coping strategies based on gender role identity (GRI) and sex among traditional and non-traditional college students.

Concepts: Gender, Gender role, Human behavior, Gender identity, Role, Identity, Gender studies, Queer theory


The issue of gender equality in employment has given rise to numerous policies in advanced industrial countries, all aimed at tackling gender discrimination regarding recruitment, salary and promotion. Yet gender inequalities in the workplace persist. The purpose of this research is to document the psychosocial process involved in the persistence of gender discrimination against working women. Drawing on the literature on the justification of discrimination, we hypothesized that the myths according to which women’s work threatens children and family life mediates the relationship between sexism and opposition to a mother’s career. We tested this hypothesis using the Family and Changing Gender Roles module of the International Social Survey Programme. The dataset contained data collected in 1994 and 2012 from 51632 respondents from 18 countries. Structural equation modellings confirmed the hypothesised mediation. Overall, the findings shed light on how motherhood myths justify the gender structure in countries promoting gender equality.

Concepts: Gender, Gender role, Hypothesis, Discrimination, Role, Mediation, Sexism, Feminism


All over the world women are the predominant providers of informal care for family members with chronic medical conditions or disabilities, including the elderly and adults with mental illnesses. It has been suggested that there are several societal and cultural demands on women to adopt the role of a family-caregiver. Stress-coping theories propose that women are more likely to be exposed to caregiving stressors, and are likely to perceive, report and cope with these stressors differently from men. Many studies, which have examined gender differences among family-caregivers of people with mental illnesses, have concluded that women spend more time in providing care and carry out personal-care tasks more often than men. These studies have also found that women experience greater mental and physical strain, greater caregiver-burden, and higher levels of psychological distress while providing care. However, almost an equal number of studies have not found any differences between men and women on these aspects. This has led to the view that though there may be certain differences between male and female caregivers, most of these are small in magnitude and of doubtful clinical significance. Accordingly, caregiver-gender is thought to explain only a minor proportion of the variance in negative caregiving outcomes. A similar inconsistency characterizes the explanations provided for gender differences in caregiving such as role expectations, differences in stress, coping and social support, and response biases in reporting distress. Apart from the equivocal and inconsistent evidence, there are other problems in the literature on gender differences in caregiving. Most of the evidence has been derived from studies on caregivers of elderly people who either suffer from dementia or other physical conditions. Similar research on other mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or mood disorders is relatively scarce. With changing demographics and social norms men are increasingly assuming roles as caregivers. However, the experience of men while providing care has not been explored adequately. The impact of gender on caregiving outcomes may be mediated by several other variables including patient-related factors, socio-demographic variables, and effects of kinship status, culture and ethnicity, but these have seldom been considered in the research on gender differences. Finally, it is apparent that methodological variations in samples, designs and assessments between studies contribute a great deal to the observed gender differences. This review highlights all these issues and concludes that there is much need for further research in this area if the true nature of gender differences in family-caregiving of mental illnesses is to be discerned.

Concepts: Gender, Sociology, Gender role, Role