ERIC Number: EJ733569
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Definitions and Omissions of Heroism
Martens, Jeffrey W.
American Psychologist, v60 n4 p342-343 May-Jun 2005
This article presents comments on "The Heroism of Women and Men" by Selwyn W. Becker and Alice H. Eagly. Their article specifically addressed the "cultural association of heroism with men and masculinity . . . in natural settings." Becker and Eagly evidenced roughly equivalent rates of heroism by women and men in a variety of settings. However, their operational definition of heroism required the exclusion of military personnel, police, firefighters, clergy, and other paid or role-constrained "heroes" from their sample. In contrast, achieving face validity in an investigation of the cultural association of heroism with gender requires that those excluded individuals be considered heroes-perhaps even heroes of a quintessentially masculine form (purportedly of central interest to Becker and Eagly). Therefore, Becker and Eagly's theoretical and/or methodological definition of heroism appears fundamentally flawed. For the sake of brevity, this critique is limited to definitional and sample selection considerations.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
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