Gender-Role Differences in Spatial Ability: A Meta-Analytic Review

Gender-Role Differences in Spatial Ability: A Meta-Analytic Review Although gender-related differences in highly gender typed cognitive abilities are of considerable interest to educators and cognitive researchers alike, relatively little progress has been made in understanding the psychological processes that lead to them. Nash (1979) proposed a gender-role mediation hypothesis for such differences, with particular emphasis on spatial ability. However, changes in gender equality and gender stereotypes in the decades since merit a re-examination of whether a gender-role association still holds (Feingold 1988). A meta-analysis of 12 studies that examined gender-role identity and mental rotation performance was conducted. These included studies from the United Kingdom, Canada, Poland, Croatia, and the United States of America. The mean effect size for masculinity was r = .30 for men and r = .23 for women; no association was found between femininity and mental rotation. This effect size was slightly larger than that found previously by Signorella and Jamison (1986), and exceeds many other factors known to influence spatial ability. The implications of gender-role mediation of gender differences are discussed and future research directions are identified. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Gender-Role Differences in Spatial Ability: A Meta-Analytic Review

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-013-0269-0
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Although gender-related differences in highly gender typed cognitive abilities are of considerable interest to educators and cognitive researchers alike, relatively little progress has been made in understanding the psychological processes that lead to them. Nash (1979) proposed a gender-role mediation hypothesis for such differences, with particular emphasis on spatial ability. However, changes in gender equality and gender stereotypes in the decades since merit a re-examination of whether a gender-role association still holds (Feingold 1988). A meta-analysis of 12 studies that examined gender-role identity and mental rotation performance was conducted. These included studies from the United Kingdom, Canada, Poland, Croatia, and the United States of America. The mean effect size for masculinity was r = .30 for men and r = .23 for women; no association was found between femininity and mental rotation. This effect size was slightly larger than that found previously by Signorella and Jamison (1986), and exceeds many other factors known to influence spatial ability. The implications of gender-role mediation of gender differences are discussed and future research directions are identified.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Apr 3, 2013

References

  • Sex, sex-role identity, and cognitive style
    Arbuthnot, J

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