Gender, gender roles and attitudes towards violence: Are viewpoints changing?

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Stephen C. Smith
Jon B. Ellis
Trisha A. Benson
Cite this article:  Smith, S., Ellis, J., & Benson, T. (2001). Gender, gender roles and attitudes towards violence: Are viewpoints changing?. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 29(1), 43-48.


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Androgyny is a gender role that has several positive characteristics such as adaptive coping strategies and less violent viewpoints. To examine the relationship between gender, gender roles, and attitudes towards violence, 161 individuals were administered the Bem Sex Role Inventory and a violence questionnaire. It was hypothesized that a significant number of nonandrogynous people would have a great predisposition towards violence. The mean violence score was higher for men than for women, however, there was no difference between androgynous individuals and others. There were no significant interaction effects. Results are surprising when compared to previous research. It may be that more and more people, regardless of their interpersonal style, are moving towards a view which does not condone violence.

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