, Volume 53, Issue 1-2, pp 133-142

Individual Differences in Experiences of and Responses to Guilt and Shame: Examining the Lenses of Gender and Gender Role

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Abstract

How are experiences of and reactions to guilt and shame a function of gendered views of the self? Individual differences in guilt and shame responses were explored in a sample of 104 young adults, most of whom were European American. Results indicated that, although women reported greater proneness to guilt and shame, men reported more trait guilt. Heightened levels of guilt- and shame-proneness were observed among both men and women with traditionally feminine gender roles, whereas a more traditionally masculine self-concept was associated with decreased shame-proneness for women. Gender schematic women favored verbal responses to ameliorate the experience of guilt, whereas gender schematic men preferred action-oriented responses. These results are discussed as gendered outcomes of schematic versus aschematic gender role socialization.