ERIC Number: ED320088
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Gender Differences in Empathy: Are Women Really More Empathic than Men?
Monahan, Martha J.
There is a longstanding cultural stereotype that women tend to be more empathic than men. For many years this stereotype has been upheld by theory and research in fields as diverse as psychoanalysis, social, developmental, personality, and feminist psychology. This study was designed to clarify further the relationship of empathy to gender and sex role orientation. Relationships among gender, sex role orientation, ego development, and different forms of empathy were also examined. The Empathy Scoring System, a new, unobtrusive and multidimensional system for measuring empathy, was used to score empathy from the qualitative interviews of 30 married men and 30 married women who participated in a larger study of young adult close relationships. No significant differences were found in empathy scores. Sex role orientation, however, was significantly related to empathy but in different ways for men and women. These results suggest a more complex relationship among gender, sex role orientation, and empathy than has been proposed by theory and research to date. (Author/ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (97th, New Orleans, LA, August 11-15, 1989).