Gender Differences In Stressing

833 Words 4 Pages
John Gray suggests that men and women are different in coping: men withdraw and women become emotional and need to talk. Empirical research generally does not support this claim. Two studies Hamilton and Fagot (1988) and Porter et al. (2000) found few significant gender differences in types and frequency of stressors as well as coping strategies.
Hamilton and Fagot (1988) studied and analyzed 51 female and 39 male undergraduate students. They measured stressor of two different types: gender neutral and female-specific. Stressors that were gender neutral included classes, sleep, money food, roommates and romantic relationships. Stressors that were female specific included as appearance, weight, being kept waiting, and punctuality. The researchers
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(2000) analyzed the daily diary reports of 48 women and 47 men with high levels of either marital or work-related stress. Their measures include trait level coping, which is how subjects deal in general, as well momentary, or state stress levels, appraisals and stress coping. These researchers found no gender differences in total number or problems or types of problems, similarly to first article. In the analysis of trait coping, women were more likely than men to report using catharsis and seek social support. Women also scored higher than men on social support, problem solving, and positive reappraisal. There were no gender differences in momentary stress in terms of frequency, appraisals, or the use of coping. However, women did report more use of social support. For the most part, there were a few gender differences in trait stress coping but no significant gender differences in momentary analysis. Overall, this study partially supports Gray’s claims since women did use more social support, but in momentary reported stress men and women did not differ significantly. Porter et al. talked about the socialization hypothesis, which gender stereotypes or expectations of how your gender should act affects behavior. This hypothesis was supported by both studies since the actual or momentary reports indicated no gender differences, but trait-wise there were gender …show more content…
Actual reported levels of stress and types and stress and stress coping mechanisms were not significantly different for men and women. There were differences in general, trait, and stress coping styles. This is probably due to gender stereotypes and socialization and not inherent or biological differences between men and women. Gray suggests that the ways men and women cope with stress is one of the biggest differences between men and women. His suggestion to men and women is that women let men withdraw and cope with stress on their own and that men learn to listen when women talk about their problem. What John Gray should have suggested is that men and women should both understand and support each other in times of stress. Since men and women actually deal with the same types of stress and similar amounts and frequency of stress, they should be able to understand each other and offer support if wanted or if necessary. Men and women should know that their partner is probably dealing with similar stressors and are looking for similar support. Women may want more social support, so men should be willing to give them that type of support, but women should not ignore men or let them retreat in times of stress, but instead also offer them support and help them cope if they want that help. There should be talk and communication from both

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