Complete Schedule

Title

Gender Differences in Helping and Receiving Help across the United States and India

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

In short-term encounters with strangers, North American men tend to help more than women, and women to receive more help than men (Eagly & Crowley, 1986). With friends, however, American women may be more likely to offer help (Belansky & Boggiano, 1994). There is little research on how gender and relationship affect helping in nonwestern cultures. Indians regard a failure to help in various situations morally, whereas Americans tend to regard helping as a matter of personal choice (Miller & Luthar, 1989), which may suggest differences in who and when they would help. In this study, 172 U.S. and 140 Indian college students completed measures of personality and indicated how likely it was that a person in each of eight scenarios would help someone else. Scenarios varied by gender of the potential helper, gender of the helpee, and relationship of the two persons (stranger vs. friend). Across both cultures, participants were less likely to expect the actor to help the male stranger. In the United States, helping expectations for men and women were fairly similar, but in India, men were seen as more likely to help than women in all situations except with the male stranger.

Start Date

25-4-2015 8:30 AM

End Date

25-4-2015 9:45 AM

Faculty Advisor

Helen C. Harton

Comments

Location: Great Reading Room, Seerley Hall

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Apr 25th, 8:30 AM Apr 25th, 9:45 AM

Gender Differences in Helping and Receiving Help across the United States and India

In short-term encounters with strangers, North American men tend to help more than women, and women to receive more help than men (Eagly & Crowley, 1986). With friends, however, American women may be more likely to offer help (Belansky & Boggiano, 1994). There is little research on how gender and relationship affect helping in nonwestern cultures. Indians regard a failure to help in various situations morally, whereas Americans tend to regard helping as a matter of personal choice (Miller & Luthar, 1989), which may suggest differences in who and when they would help. In this study, 172 U.S. and 140 Indian college students completed measures of personality and indicated how likely it was that a person in each of eight scenarios would help someone else. Scenarios varied by gender of the potential helper, gender of the helpee, and relationship of the two persons (stranger vs. friend). Across both cultures, participants were less likely to expect the actor to help the male stranger. In the United States, helping expectations for men and women were fairly similar, but in India, men were seen as more likely to help than women in all situations except with the male stranger.