Feminist Forum

Sex Roles

, Volume 63, Issue 3, pp 178-183

First online:

Gender Differences in Experimental Disclosure: Evidence, Theoretical Explanations, and Avenues for Future Research

  • Shelby L. LangerAffiliated withSchool of Social Work, University of Washington Email author 

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Interest in emotional expression is long-standing. Given well-established gender differences in expressivity, it is surprising that researchers have not consistently examined gender as a potential moderator of outcome in the context of experimental disclosure studies. This article comments on Range and Jenkins’ (2010) research recommendations in light of the suggestion that males evidence greater benefit of disclosure than females and three gender theories: gender schema theory, social role theory, and gender socialization theory. Further avenues for research are also presented, including the examination of gender differences in subjective, expressive and physiologic indicators of emotion during disclosure. Such data could elucidate mechanisms by which persons of different genders or persons with different schemata/ social roles/ socialization histories differ on pre/ post disclosure outcomes.


Gender Emotional expression Experimental disclosure