PsyArticles.com Development Emotion Groups Health Intellect Perception Relations Sleep Stress S-Misuse Values

Women Feel More Guilt

March 2010 - Research from the University of the Basque Country published in the Spanish Journal of Psychology found that despite changing attitudes towards interpersonal relationships, women feel significantly more guilt than men. This did not simply reflect higher levels of this emotion in women but a lack of it in men.

Lead author Itziar Etxebarria explained:

"Our initial hypothesis was that feelings of guilt are more intense among females, not only among adolescents but also among young and adult women, and they also show the highest scores for interpersonal sensitivity."

The study was based on data from an equal number of male and female subjects across the age range: 156 teenagers, 96 young people and 108 adults.

Participants were asked to identify situations in which they felt most guilt. They also completed interpersonal sensitivity tests - the Davis Empathetic Concern Scale, and a questionnaire on Interpersonal Guilt, developed specifically for this research.

Researchers found that intensity of habitual guilt was significantly higher for women in all three age groups but particularly in those between 40-50 years. They also identified gender differences in interpersonal sensitivity, although the disparity was less marked in that age group. Generally, levels of interpersonal sensitivity in men (especially those aged between 25-33) was found to be "comparatively low". Researchers suggest this could have detrimental effects on relationships and social functioning, for example inability to feel empathy for others and failure to take responsibility.

In a previous study, researchers analysed two manifestations of guilt, empathy and anxiety-aggression. They found the latter type more prevalent in subjects who were governed by strict expectations of behaviour as a consequence of their upbringing.

Itziar Etxebarria said:

"It seems obvious that this component will be more intense among women, and especially in older women."

The researchers conclude that this may explain the significant differences in intensity of habitual guilt in women aged 40-50 despite convergence with male interpersonal sensitivity scores.

Itziar Etxebarria concluded:

"Educational practices and a whole range of socialising agents must be used to reduce the trend towards anxious-aggressive guilt among women and to strengthen interpersonal sensitivity among men."

More Psychology Articles

Fundamentals of Psychology

Fundamentals of Psychology

by Michael Eysenck
  Aimed at those new to the subject, Fundamentals of Psychology is a clear and reader-friendly textbook that will help students explore and understand the essentials of psychology.
  More information and prices from:
Amazon.com - US dollars
Amazon.ca - Canadian dollars
Amazon.co.uk - British pounds
Amazon.de - Euros
Amazon.fr - Euros

Psychology

Psychology

by Richard Gross
  All the major domains of Psychology are covered in detail across 50 manageable chapters that will help you get to grips with anything from the nervous system to memory, from attachment to personality, and everything in-between.
  More information and prices from:
Amazon.com - US dollars
Amazon.ca - Canadian dollars
Amazon.co.uk - British pounds
Amazon.de - Euros
Amazon.fr - Euros

Penguin Dictionary of Psychology

Penguin Dictionary of Psychology

by Arthur S. Reber, Rhianon Allen, Emily Reber
  Indispensable guide to all areas of psychology and psychiatry.
  More information and prices from:
Amazon.com - US dollars
Amazon.ca - Canadian dollars
Amazon.co.uk - British pounds
Amazon.de - Euros
Amazon.fr - Euros



PsyArticles.com makes minimal use of cookies, including some placed to facilitate features such as Google Search. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to the use of cookies.
Learn more here

Contact
Privacy Policy
British Isles
Travel
Job Skills
Copyright © 2021 Alan Price and PsyArticles.com contributors. All rights reserved.