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Asking the tough questions: Women's and men's requests for the self and others

Mary Elizabeth Wade, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Two studies examined the relationship between gender and self- and other-advocacy. In the first study, 163 business students (78 women and 85 men) participated in a questionnaire study that examined the relationships between gender, sex-role, modesty, self-esteem and subjects' responses to two advocacy scenarios. In response to the first scenario, modesty influenced subjects' reported preference for using either self- or other-advocacy. When subjects read a second scenario about a self-advocate, modest and feminine subjects responded more favorably toward people who had explicit reasons for their requests. In Study 2, actual advocacy was examined. In response to a job description, 178 subjects (102 women and 76 men) wrote a letter accepting the position and requesting a salary. As predicted, when women were told that they would meet with a male evaluator, they requested lower salaries for themselves and higher salaries for friends. Men who believed that they would meet with a male evaluator requested higher salaries for themselves and lower salaries for friends. The opposite pattern of results was found when women and men were not told that they would meet an evaluator. Implications for the role that gender norms play in men's and women's advocacy are discussed.

Subject Area

Communication|Womens studies|Business community

Recommended Citation

Wade, Mary Elizabeth, "Asking the tough questions: Women's and men's requests for the self and others" (1996). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9709665.