Gender Differences in Self-Esteem
Wiebke Bleidorn and her colleagues (reference below, pdf on right) have recently published a cross-cultural study on the extent and implications of gender differences in self-esteem.
The American Psychological Association summarizes the article as follows:
“Bleidorn and her colleagues analyzed survey data from over 985,000 men and women ages 16-45 from 48 countries. The data were collected from July 1999 to December 2009 as part of the Gosling-Potter Internet Personality Project. The researchers compared self-reported self-esteem, gender and age across the 48 nations in their study.
“In general, the researchers found that self-esteem tended to increase with age, from adolescence to adulthood, and that men at every age tended to have higher levels of self-esteem than women worldwide. When they broke the results down by country, they found some interesting results.
“”Specifically, individualistic, prosperous, egalitarian, developed nations with higher gender equality had larger gender gaps in self-esteem than collectivist, poorer, developing nations with greater gender inequality,” said Bleidorn. “This is likely the result of specific cultural influences that guide self-esteem development in men and women.”
“For instance, the gender differences were small in many Asian countries, such as Thailand, Indonesia and India, but were relatively larger in countries like the United Kingdom or the Netherlands.
“What surprised the researchers most was, despite the cultural differences, the general trend across all the countries suggests that gender and age differences in self-esteem are not a Western idiosyncrasy, but can be observed in different cultures across the world.
“”This remarkable degree of similarity implies that gender and age differences in self-esteem are partly driven by universal mechanisms; these can either be universal biological mechanisms such as hormonal influences or universal cultural mechanisms such as universal gender roles. However, universal influences do not tell the whole story,” said Bleidorn. “The differences in magnitude and shape of gender and age differences in various countries provide strong evidence for culture-specific influences on the development of self-esteem in men and women.”
“These findings are important because up until now the bulk of research on self-esteem has been confined to industrialized Western cultures where the gender gap is significantly greater, said Bleidorn. “This new research refines our understanding of how cultural forces may shape self-esteem, which, when worked out more fully, can help inform self-esteem theory and design interventions to promote or protect self-esteem.””
Atlas topic, subject, and course
American Psychological Association (2016), Self-Esteem Gender Gap More Pronounced in Western Countries, American Psychological Association, 4 January 2016, at http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2016/01/self-esteem-gender.aspx, accessed 13 March 2017.
Full Article: “Age and Gender Differences in Self-Esteem – A Cross-Cultural Window,” by Wiebke Bleidorn, PhD, University of California, Davis, and Tilburg University; Ruben Arslan, MSc, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen; Jaap Denissen, PhD, Tilburg University; Peter Rentfrow, PhD, University of Cambridge; Jochen Gebauer, PhD, University of Mannheim; and Jeff Potter, BSc, Atof Inc., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published online Dec. 21, 2015, at https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/psp-pspp0000078.pdf, accessed 13 March 2017.
Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified 13 March 2017.
Image: American Psychological Association, at https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/psp-pspp0000078.pdf, accessed 13 March 2017.