Yoder, J. D., Hogue, M. Newman, R., Metz, L. & LaVigne, T. (2003). Exploring moderators of gender differences: Contextual differences in door-holding behavior. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32, 1682-1686.
The social roles theory suggests that social contexts have different gender role expectations and those gender role expectations can maximize or minimize gender differences. For instance, there are three competing hypotheses as to why and in what situations certain people hold doors for others. The gender neutral stance hypothesizes an equal amount of door holding would consistently be done by both sexes for both sexes. Chivalry is associated with male roles and is another hypothesis that predicts that men hold doors open for women as an act of helpfulness. Yet another stance looks at male dominance and how it is expressed in door holding behavior. This stance adds to the social role theory hypothesizing that door holding behaviors will be different depending on the emphasis on gender roles in the social context. The research done by Yoder, Hogue, Newman, Metz and LaVigne (2003) looks at door holding behavior in a dating situation as opposed to everyday life situations, predicting that males will hold open doors more often during a dating situation than in an everyday life situation. Seven hundred and sixty-nine mixed-gender, college-age, male-female pairs were unobtrusively observed in 16 different locations. The locations selected were places where either dating or non-dating couples were most likely to be found. These locations included shopping malls, universities and fast-good restaurants, for non-dating couples, and sit down restaurants and skate rinks, for dating couples. The amount of door holding for the other, either male of female, was measured. In an everyday context 55.2% more women, in the couples observed, held the door open for men than men did for women. In a dating context the reverse was found, 66.8% more men, in the...
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