Gender Issues

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 65–70 | Cite as

Helping hands: A study of altruistic behavior

  • Elizabeth Monk-Turner
  • Victoria Blake
  • Fred Chniel
  • Sarah Forbes
  • Lisa Lensey
  • Jason Madzuma
Articles

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to better understand how altruistic behavior varies by gender, race, age, and dress. Eagly & Crowley’s (1986) social role theory maintains that the traditional male sex role promotes heroic and chivalrous helping behavior. Based on this theoretical insight, we hypothesized that men would be more likely to exhibit helping behavior than women (regardless of their race, age, or dress), especially if the person requiring assistance was a woman. We also expected that fewer women than men would offer assistance to another, especially if the person in need of help was a man. To test our hypotheses, we went to the downtown Waterside Festival Marketplace, where male and female actors “dropped” a stack of books. We found no significant differences in helping behavior between male and female subjects, all else being equal.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Andreoni, James and Lise Vesterlund. “Which is the Fairer Sex? Gender Differences in Altruism.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 116 (2001): 293–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barnett, Mark A., Guy D. Vitaglione, Jeffrey S. Bartel, and Fred W. Sanborn. “Perceptions of Self-Oriented and Other-Oriented ‘Everyday’ Helpers.” Current Psychology 19 (2000): 87–115.Google Scholar
  3. Baskerville, Kim, Kevin Johnson, Elizabeth Monk-Turner, Quita Slone, Helen Standley, Shannon Stansbury, Mirta Williams, and Jamie Young. “Reactions to Random Acts of Kindness.” The Social Science Journal 37 (2000): 293–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Belansky, Elaine S. and Ann K. Boggiano, “Predicting Helping Behaviors: The Role of Gender and Instrumental/Expressive Self-Schemata.” Sex Roles: A Journal of Research 30 (1994): 647–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Eagly, A. and M. Crowley. “Gender and Helping Behavior: A Meta-Analytical Review of the Social Psychological Literature.” Psychology Bulletin 100 (1986): 283–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Goodman, Michael D. and Karen C. Garei. “The Influence of Status on Decisions to Help.” The Journal of Social Psychology 133 (1993): 23–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Jeffries, Vincent. “Virtue and the Altruistic Personality.” Sociological Perspectives 41 (1998): 151–67.Google Scholar
  8. Rabinowitz, Frederic E., Leah Sutton, Tony Schutter, Abby Brown, Carissa Krizo, John Larse, Jim Styn, Abby Welander, Denette Wilson, and Sarah Wright. “Helpfulness to Lost Tourists.” The Journal of Social Psychology 137 (1997): 502–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Rushton, J. Philippe. Altruism, Socialization, and Society. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1980.Google Scholar
  10. Stanko, Elizabeth. Intimate Intrusions: Women's Experience of Male Violence, London: Unwin Hyman, 1985.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Transaction Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Monk-Turner
    • 1
  • Victoria Blake
    • 1
  • Fred Chniel
    • 1
  • Sarah Forbes
    • 1
  • Lisa Lensey
    • 1
  • Jason Madzuma
    • 1
  1. 1.Old Dominion UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations