Gender Roles and Culture

Hofstede’s (2001) research revealed that on the Masculinity and Femininity dimension (MAS), cultures with high masculinity reported distinct gender roles, moralistic views of sexuality and encouraged passive roles for women. Additionally, these cultures discourage premarital sex for women but have no such restrictions for men. The cultures with the highest masculinity scores were: Japan, Italy, Austria and Venezuela. Cultures low in masculinity (high femininity) had gender roles that were more likely to overlap and encouraged more active roles for women. Sex before marriage was seen as acceptable for both women and men in these cultures. Four countries scoring lowest in masculinity were Norway, Denmark, Netherlands and Sweden. The United States is slightly more masculine than feminine on this dimension; however, these aspects of high masculinity are balanced by a need for individuality.


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Culture and Psychology by L D Worthy; T Lavigne; and F Romero is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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