Bashful Boys and Coy Girls: A Review of Gender Differences in Childhood Shyness

Bashful Boys and Coy Girls: A Review of Gender Differences in Childhood Shyness Shyness is a temperamental trait characterized by a fear of novel social situations and self-consciousness in situations of perceived social evaluation. From early childhood to adolescence, shyness is associated with a host of negative outcomes including poor peer relationships (e.g., exclusion, victimization), internalizing problems (e.g., anxiety, depression), and school adjustment difficulties (e.g., lack of academic success, school avoidance). It has been suggested that shyness may be less socially acceptable for boys than for girls because it violates gender norms related to male social assertion and dominance. In the current paper, we review the empirical support for this assertion. More specifically, we examined: (1) possible gender differences in the prevalence of shyness; (2) how important others (i.e., parents, teachers, peers) might respond differentially to shyness in boys compared to girls; and (3) potential gender differences in the implications of shyness across multiple domains. Most of this research has been conducted with school-aged children from Canada and the United States. However, we also explore findings from emerging cross-cultural studies in this area. Possible conceptual mechanisms that may underlie differences in the potential implications of shyness for boys and girls are then discussed, as well as several prospective directions for future research. Sex Roles Springer Journals

Bashful Boys and Coy Girls: A Review of Gender Differences in Childhood Shyness

Loading next page...
Springer US
Copyright © 2013 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site


You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.

DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

Monthly Plan

  • Read unlimited articles
  • Personalized recommendations
  • No expiration
  • Print 20 pages per month
  • 20% off on PDF purchases
  • Organize your research
  • Get updates on your journals and topic searches


Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial

Best Deal — 39% off

Annual Plan

  • All the features of the Professional Plan, but for 39% off!
  • Billed annually
  • No expiration
  • For the normal price of 10 articles elsewhere, you get one full year of unlimited access to articles.



billed annually
Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial