ERIC Number: ED248443
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-May
Sex Differences in Helping Behavior: A Meta-Analytic Study.
Renner, Patricia; Eagly, Alice H.
Whether or not there are sex differences in helping behavior is a question that has attracted interest from both theoretical and applied perspectives. A meta-analysis was conducted of 172 studies of helping behavior, coded for publication date, source, sex of author, sample size, setting, type of appeal for help, availability of other helpers, sex of victim/requester, and observation by another person. To generate measures of the extent to which each helping behavior was sex-typed in the male or female direction, undergraduate students rated a brief description of each helping behavior appearing in the studies in the sample. Results showed that, in general, helping behaviors were not strongly sex-typed. Men were especially helpful when under surveillance by persons other than the victim/requester, when a need was present, and when there was no direct request. Female victims/requesters received more aid, especially when the helper was under surveillance. The theoretical analysis of helping behavior in terms of social roles and social influence is generally consistent with the findings of the meta-analysis, suggesting that researchers should describe the variability of sex differences and attempt to account for it in terms of a detailed analysis of situations and behaviors. Although sex differences are seldom well represented by averaging them out, gender is sometimes an important variable in social interaction. (JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association (56th, Chicago, IL, May 3-5, 1984). Table 3 is marginally legible.