Two experiments were conducted to assess whether responses to helpers who used insensitive emotional support vary as a function of the interaction between sex of participant and helper. We hypothesized that women would evaluate an insensitive female helper and her behavior more negatively than they would an insensitive male helper. In Experiment 1, participants (N = 137) read conversations in which male or female helpers sought to comfort emotionally distressed friends. In Experiment 2, participants (N = 87) engaged in face-to-face interactions in which they were comforted by either a male or female helper who used insensitive comforting messages. Overall, the results imply that women with deficient emotional support skills may be at high risk of rejection by same-sex peers.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2005
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