“I Don’t Need Help”: Gender Differences in how Gender Stereotypes Predict Help-Seeking
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Although self-report and correlational studies suggest that gender stereotypes are related to men’s health behavior, particularly in relation to seeking help, there is minimal research that has tested this hypothesis experimentally. The present study examined how two stereotype pathways, personally endorsed gender stereotypes and gender stereotyped attitudes, predicted help-seeking behavior among U.S. undergraduate women (n = 68) and men (n = 72) when they worked on challenging puzzles and recalled previous health help-seeking behavior for physical or psychological problems. Results revealed gender and domain differences in how the two pathways predicted help-seeking. For the puzzle tasks, both attitudinally and personally endorsed gender stereotypes predicted men’s help-seeking, whereas only personally endorsed gender stereotypes predicted women’s help-seeking. For recalled health behaviors, personally endorsed gender stereotypes predicted men’s help-seeking, whereas gender stereotypes did not predict women’s help-seeking. The gender and domain differences in how personal and attitudinal gender stereotypes predicted help-seeking are important to consider when designing interventions to increase help-seeking.
KeywordsHuman gender differences Stereotyped attitudes Stereotyped behavior Health disparities
This research was supported by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Graduate & Professional Student Association and in part by the National Science Foundation (0645761). We thank Vicky Rodriguez for assistance with data collection and coding. This research was based on the first author’s master’s thesis.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
These data are not under consideration for publication elsewhere nor have these data been published previously. There are no conflicts of interest that might have influenced the research. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas Social and Behavioral Sciences Internal Review Board approved this study and treatment of subjects was in accordance with the ethical standards of APA.
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