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This meta-analysis examines gender differences in 10 specific domains of self-esteem across 115 studies, including 428 effect sizes and 32,486 individuals. In a mixed-effects analysis, men scored significantly higher than women on physical appearance (d 0.35), athletic (d 0.41), personal self (d 0.28), and self-satisfaction self-esteem (d 0.33). Women scored higher than men on behavioral conduct (d 0.17) and moral-ethical self-esteem (d 0.38). The gender difference in physical appearance self-esteem was significant only after 1980 and was largest among adults. No significant gender differences appeared in academic, social acceptance, family, and affect self-esteem. The results demon- strate the influence of reflected appraisals on self-esteem.
Gender Differences in Domain-Specific Self-Esteem:
A Meta-Analysis
Brittany Gentile
University of Georgia
Shelly Grabe
University of California, Santa Cruz
Brenda Dolan-Pascoe
and Jean M. Twenge
San Diego State University
Brooke E. Wells
Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training (CHEST)
and National Development and Research Institutes, Inc.
Alissa Maitino
Alliant International University
This meta-analysis examines gender differences in 10 specific domains of self-esteem across 115 studies,
including 428 effect sizes and 32,486 individuals. In a mixed-effects analysis, men scored significantly
higher than women on physical appearance (d 0.35), athletic (d 0.41), personal self (d 0.28), and
self-satisfaction self-esteem (d 0.33). Women scored higher than men on behavioral conduct (d
0.17) and moral– ethical self-esteem (d ⫽⫺0.38). The gender difference in physical appearance
self-esteem was significant only after 1980 and was largest among adults. No significant gender
differences appeared in academic, social acceptance, family, and affect self-esteem. The results demon-
strate the influence of reflected appraisals on self-esteem.
Keywords: gender differences, self-esteem, adolescence, physical appearance, meta-analysis
Since the mid-1990s, reports in the popular media have sug-
gested that girls—particularly teens— have distressingly low self-
esteem (e.g., Pipher, 1994). Recent advertisements like the “Dove
Self-Esteem Fund” continue to suggest that girls and women suffer
from negative self- images. But are girls and women actually
deficient in self-esteem compared with boys and men? Three
previous meta-analyses found that the effect size for the gender
difference in self-esteem was small, d 0.15; in adolescence the
difference was d 0.33, a small to medium effect size (Kling,
Hyde, Showers, & Buswell, 1999; Major, Barr, Zubek, & Babey,
1999; Twenge & Campbell, 2001).
However, these previous meta-analyses examined gender dif-
ferences in global but not domain-specific self-esteem. These are
two distinct concepts in the literature. Global self-esteem is “the
positivity of the person’s self-evaluation” (Baumeister, 1998, p.
694) or “the level of global regard that one has for the self as a
person” (Harter, 1993, p. 88). Domain-specific self-esteem, on the
other hand, describes self-satisfaction in specific areas (e.g., ap-
pearance, academics, social). Self-esteem may vary considerably
from one domain to another. Thus, domain-specific self-esteem
may show larger gender differences than global self-esteem (e.g.,
Sondhaus, Kurtz, & Strube, 2001; Tiggemann & Rothblum, 1997).
The present research undertakes a comprehensive meta-analysis of
gender differences in 10 domain-specific areas of self-esteem.
We draw primarily on two theoretical approaches to self-esteem.
First, the reflected appraisals model maintains that people base
their self-esteem on others’ opinions and perceptions. This idea has
a long history; Cooley (1902) argued that self-esteem arises from
the appraisals of others. Mead (1934) took this concept a step
further, maintaining that our self-esteem is also influenced by the
“generalized other”—thus the entire sociocultural environment
(which in modern times would include the media). Thus, the
reflected appraisals model would predict gender differences in
areas where societal standards are different for men and women.
The reflected appraisals model has been conceptualized more
recently as a “sociometer” (Leary, Haupt, Strausser, & Chokel,
1998; Leary, Tambor, Terdal, & Downs, 1995) or the “need to
belong” (Baumeister & Leary, 1995). These authors theorize that
self-esteem is primarily rooted in our relationships with others—
what others think of us, whether they accept us, and so on.
Interactions with others are good predictors of fluctuations in
self-esteem, and even at the level of nations, countries with high
levels of interaction between friends have higher mean self-esteem
(Denissen, Penke, & Schmitt, 2008). For gender differences in
self-esteem, the reflected appraisals model predicts that other peo-
ple’s perceptions of us—or of our gender as a whole—is a key
component of self-esteem. If someone’s interactions with others
around a particular domain are positive, then they would have high
Brittany Gentile, Department of Psychology, University of Georgia;
Shelly Grabe, Department of Psychology, University of California, Santa
Cruz; Brenda Dolan-Pascoe and Jean M. Twenge, Department of Psychol-
ogy, San Diego State University; Brooke E. Wells, Center for HIV Edu-
cational Studies and Training (CHEST) and National Development and
Research Institutes, Inc.; Alissa Maitino, California School of Professional
Psychology, Alliant International University.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Jean M.
Twenge, Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, 5500
Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182-4611. E-mail:
Review of General Psychology © 2009 American Psychological Association
2009, Vol. 13, No. 1, 34 45 1089-2680/09/$12.00 DOI: 10.1037/a0013689
self-esteem in that domain. If they are negative and judgmental,
however, self-esteem would suffer. For example, some have the-
orized that negative interactions often occur around women’s
physical appearance, which is often scrutinized and discussed
(Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997); thus, women might have lower
self-esteem in the domain of physical appearance.
The competencies model (James, 1890) argues that people draw
self-esteem from accomplishments in certain areas. The compe-
tencies model predicts gender differences in areas where actual
performance differs. Thus, it is a model of self-efficacy, predicting
that people will feel high self-esteem when they have performed
well and will perform well when they have high self-esteem (e.g.,
Bandura, 1989). Although self-efficacy and self-esteem are distinct
concepts, domain-specific self-esteem has some overlap with self-
efficacy, because it addresses confidence in a certain area of
competence. Some of these areas, like academics and athletics, are
performance domains that may show a reciprocal relationship
between performance and self-esteem, with each influencing the
other. Thus, the competencies model (and self-efficacy theory)
predicts that when females perform better in an area, the gender
difference in that area will favor females. This most likely occurs
through two mechanisms. First, the average individual female is likely
to perform better in an area, and thus females’ self-esteem will be
higher than males’ in that area on average. For example, the average
girl earns better grades than the average boy, so the gender
difference in academic self-esteem should favor females. Second,
females may know that their gender group performs better in the
area, increasing their self-esteem in that area apart from their
individual performance. This mechanism can break down, how-
ever, if people apply shifting standards by only comparing them-
selves within gender groups (e.g., Biernat & Manis, 1994). Over-
all, however, the competencies model expects that gender differ-
ences in self-esteem in specific domains will reflect the gender
differences in performance within those domains.
In some cases, the reflected appraisals and competencies models
can compliment each other and work together. For example, peo-
ple may appraise a woman’s athletic ability differently because
they realize that on average, men’s strength and speed are greater
(applying shifting standards: Biernat & Manis, 1994). Similarly,
people might appraise a good athlete as such because he truly is
competent in that area. Thus, in some cases the two models will
make similar predictions. In others, however, they will predict
different results because the appraisal and the competence of males
versus females in certain areas are discrepant—that is, the view of
others and actual competence do not agree.
This meta-analysis includes studies that administered one of
the four most widely used scales of multifaceted self-esteem:
the Harter Self-Perception Profile (Harter), the Self-Description
Questionnaire (SDQ), the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale
(TSCS), or the Piers-Harris Self-Concept Scale (Piers-Harris).
Among them, these scales tap 10 domains of self-esteem:
physical appearance, athletic, academic, social acceptance,
family, behavioral conduct, affect, personal self, self-
satisfaction, and moral-ethical. We review previous research on
gender differences in each of these domains and outline what
each theory (reflected appraisals or competencies) would pre-
dict for gender differences in that area.
Physical Appearance
There is no objective difference in attractiveness between the
genders, thus the competencies model would predict no gender
differences. Competencies might even predict a female advantage,
as—at least in Western societies— both men and women prefer to
look at female bodies rather than male bodies, and women focus
more on their appearance. Appearance is more central to girls’
self-esteem than boys’, with body image a stronger predictor of
global self-esteem in females compared with males (Allgood-
Merten, Lewinsohn, & Hops, 1990; Polce-Lynch, Myers, Kilmar-
tin, Forssmann-Falck, & Kliewer, 1998).
However, the reflected appraisals model makes the opposite
prediction. It is often more difficult for girls and women to feel
positive about their appearance because of media messages pro-
moting extremely high standards for female appearance (e.g.,
Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997; Harter, 1993). This includes the
pressure to be thin, which comes not only from the media but also
from family and friends (Wertheim, Paxton, Shultz, & Muir,
1997). In other words, reflected appraisals create a self-esteem
deficit in appearance self-esteem among females. Critical reflected
appraisals may be one of the sources for the perception that girls’
self-esteem decreases during adolescence: Girls’ body satisfaction
and perceptions of their attractiveness decrease during the teen
years, while boys’ increase or remain the same (Hargreaves &
Tiggemann, 2002; Harter, 1990, 1993). This dissatisfaction con-
tinues into adulthood. Tiggemann and Rothblum (1997) found that
the majority of women rated themselves as overweight and said
they wanted to weigh approximately nine pounds less. In contrast,
men rated themselves as average weight and wanted to weigh
slightly more. Women also overestimate male preferences for
slender female bodies; men’s ideal figure is heavier than what
women believed men’s ideal was (Forbes, Adams-Curtis, Rade, &
Jaberg, 2001). More than 90% anorexia and bulimia sufferers are
female (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). Overall, the
high societal standards for female appearance mean that many
women will not attain the promoted ideal. Thus, it is likely that
females will have lower appearance self-esteem than males.
Although girls are now more likely to participate in sports than
they once were, athletic activity is still more emphasized for boys.
Even among children who play sports, boys have higher athletic
self-esteem (e.g., Eccles, Wigfield, Harold, & Blumenfeld, 1993;
Jacobs, Lanza, Osgood, Eccles, & Wigfield, 2002). Boys also
believe they are more competent in athletics (Bosacki, 2003;
Klomsten, Skaalvik, & Espnes, 2004; Wu & Smith, 1997). An
assessment of the aspects of physical self-concept found that boys
scored higher than girls in eight of nine subdomains, including
appearance, body fat, coordination, and endurance (Klomsten et
al., 2004). The gender gap in athletic self-esteem widens during
adolescence. Although physical self-concept decreases from ele-
mentary to secondary school for both genders, the drop is more
pronounced for girls (Klomsten et al., 2004). Both theoretical
models suggest that males will score higher than females on
measures of athletic self-esteem; the competencies model favors
males for their measurably higher performance in most athletic
domains, and reflected appraisals value these skills more in males
than in females.
At first, it may seem paradoxical that males are held to higher
standards in athletics and females in physical appearance, yet we
predict higher self-esteem for males in athletics and lower self-
esteem for females in physical appearance. By this assumption,
self-esteem should be low when expectations are high. However,
athletics and physical appearance, though both involving the body,
have a crucial difference: Athletics is about doing, and physical
appearance is about being looked at (Fredrickson & Roberts,
1997). One is active (and thus may led to self-esteem and good
mental health) and the other is passive, and thus may lead to
lowered self-esteem through rumination and eventual depression
(Nolen-Hoeksema, Larson, & Grayson, 1999). Especially for ad-
olescents, athletic standards are also more attainable than the more
unrealistic standards set for appearance (Fredrickson & Roberts,
Females perform better academically and receive better grades
than their male peers (Pomerantz, Altermatt, & Saxon, 2002;
Stetsenko, Little, Gordeeva, Grasshof, & Oetlingen, 2000). How-
ever, this does not always result in girls and women having higher
academic self-esteem. When males outperform females in academ-
ics, female self-esteem suffers, but when females perform at a
higher level, their self-esteem does not increase (Eccles et al.,
1993; Hyde, Fennema, & Lamon, 1990; Jacobs et al., 2002;
Stetsenko et al., 2000; Weiss, Kemmler, Deisenhammer, Fleis-
chhacker, & Delazer, 2003). Even among academically gifted
adolescents, females are more self-critical of their abilities (Lus-
combe & Riley, 2001). This may occur because teachers give less
positive and more negative feedback to girls than to boys (Dweck &
Leggett, 1988; Eccles & Blumenfeld, 1985). Thus, the competencies
model predicts a female advantage in academic self-esteem, but the
reflected appraisals model predicts a male advantage or no gender
Social Acceptance
Friendships, peer relationships, and social approval are impor-
tant for self-esteem (Leary & Downs, 1995). People with higher
self-esteem have closer personal relationships (Lundgren &
Rudawsky, 1998). However, high self-esteem may have more
bearing on females’ relationships. Josephs, Markus, and Tafarodi
(1992) found that men, but not women, with high self-esteem
differentiated themselves from others. As children, girls play in
smaller groups and maintain more emotionally intimate and less
competitive relationships than boys (Lever, 1978). In adolescence,
females use more expressive pathways to increase intimacy with
friends, whereas males use expressive and instrumental pathways
equally (Radmacher & Azmitia, 2006). During adulthood, women
report that their friendships are more focused on sharing informa-
tion and communicating than men’s friendships are (Sheets &
Lugar, 2005).
However, girls’ social relationships can also be problematic.
Werner and Crick (2004) showed that girls reacted to social
rejection by retaliating; boys did not. This creates an element of
fragility in females’ friendships. Benenson and Christakos (2003)
found that across elementary, middle school, and high school
samples, girls had more previous friendships that had ended, and
current friendships that were shorter than those of boys. When
asked to imagine their closest friendships ending, girls believed
they would be more distressed. In adulthood, women are more
likely than men to respond to rejection cues by becoming more
self-critical (Baldwin, Granzberg, Pippus, & Pritchard, 2003).
Given that women focus on maintaining relationships, the compe-
tencies model would predict that they would have higher self-
esteem in this area. However, the reflected appraisals model sug-
gests that this advantage may be eliminated by the critical nature
of some of these relationships. Thus, gender differences in social
acceptance self-esteem may be influenced by opposing forces, with
relationships causing both higher and lower self-esteem in girls
and women. These influences might well cancel each other out,
leading to null or small gender differences in social acceptance
The family can act as a source of support and help affirm a
child’s beliefs about his or her self-worth. Familial relationships
have a significant impact on female self-esteem and levels of
depression, a result not seen in males (Colarossi & Eccles, 2000).
However, this influence can have both positive and negative ram-
ifications. Girls with strong familial relationships have higher
levels of self-esteem and lower levels of depression; however,
parents gave girls more negative feedback than they give boys
(Lundgren & Rudawsky, 1998) even when their performances
were the same (Lewis, Allesandri, & Sullivan, 1992). When con-
sidered together, this creates a detrimental combination for girls’
self-esteem if they are simultaneously highly influenced and highly
criticized. Reflected appraisals would predict a male advantage on
this scale; because there are no established gender differences in
closeness to family, the competencies model predicts no differ-
ence. Given this mixed picture, we predict null or very small
gender differences in family self-esteem.
Behavioral Conduct
Behavioral conduct self-esteem measures an individual’s per-
ception of how socially acceptable his or her behavior is. People
with high behavioral conduct self-esteem view their behavior as
appropriate (Haynes, 1990). Behavioral conduct is particularly
important in school. Haynes (1990) found that behavioral conduct
self-esteem was a significant predictor of classroom behavior,
group participation, and attitudes toward authority in middle
school children. Girls generally perceive themselves as better
behaved than boys do (e.g., Bosacki, 2003; Cole et al., 2001; Wu
& Smith, 1997). Boys’ problems tend to manifest in the form of
externalizing disorders and girls’ in internalizing disorders
(Wicks-Nelson & Israel, 2003). Perhaps as a result, boys are more
likely to be punished or reprimanded because of their behavior.
Both competencies and reflected appraisals predict a female ad-
vantage, as girls and women have less problematic behavioral
conduct and are recognized for this good behavior by others. Thus,
the gender difference in behavior self-esteem is likely to favor girls
and women.
Feeling happy, satisfied, and free from anxiety are all elements
of emotional well-being. In contrast, negative emotions are related
to depression and low self-esteem. In childhood, girls and boys are
equally likely be depressed, but in early adolescence female de-
pression rates begin to rise and by late adolescence females are
twice as likely as males to be depressed (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2001;
Twenge & Nolen-Hoeksema, 2002). This incidence rate remains
high throughout adulthood. This large gender difference has been
attributed to many sources, including chronic strain, rumination,
and unequal status at home and work (Nolen-Hoeksema, 1999).
Because women experience more sexist incidents than men, they
were subsequently more likely to report feeling angry, anxious,
and depressed (Swim, Hyers, Cohen, & Ferguson, 2001). Further-
more, being a member of a devalued social group increases one’s
risk for emotional distress (Katz, Joiner, & Kwon, 2002). Women
are also more likely to be anxious. Two meta-analyses found that
women score higher in anxiety than men do, with an effect size
around d 0.24 (Feingold, 1994; Twenge, 2000). However, the
gender difference in positive affect also favors women. When only
positive emotions are measured, women report slightly greater
happiness and life satisfaction than men (Wood, Rhodes, &
Whelan, 1989). Women are also more gregarious, trusting, and
tender-minded than men (Feingold, 1994). Thus, the gender differ-
ence in affect self-esteem might be null, because women’s higher
negative affect may be cancelled out by their higher positive affect.
Both competencies and reflected appraisals recognize the gender
difference in emotionality in both positive and negative affect and are
thus in agreement with the prediction for no or only small gender
Personal Self
Personal self-concept is a measure of one’s evaluation of per-
sonality apart from the physical body or relationship to others
(Haynes, 1990). Research on personal self-esteem is limited and
conflicting. One study found that females score significantly higher
than males (Gadzella & Williamson, 1984); however, personal
self-esteem overlaps with global self-esteem, which usually favors
males. This suggests that the gender difference will slightly favor
males. Reflected appraisals also suggests a male advantage, be-
cause men are usually seen as more autonomous and assertive; the
competencies model predicts no differences, because gender dif-
ferences in agentic traits have disappeared (Twenge, 1997, 2001).
Self-satisfaction is also a measure of happiness with oneself as
a person (Stringer, Reynolds, & Simpson, 2003). Women have
been shown to have higher life satisfaction than men (Wood et al.,
1989), but little research has investigated self-satisfaction. One
study found that women score significantly higher on this subscale
(Gadzella & Williamson, 1984). On the other hand, self-
satisfaction, like personal self-esteem, overlaps considerably with
global self-esteem. This suggests that the gender difference will
slightly favor males. Similar to personal self, reflected appraisals
would favor males, whereas competencies would predict no dif-
Moral–Ethical Self-Concept
Moral– ethical self-concept is a measure of one’s perceptions of
moral– ethical attributes and satisfaction with one’s religion or lack
of it (Haynes, 1990). Among Christian populations, women are
more religious than men on every measure of religiosity (Walter &
Davie, 1998). However, there is little gender difference in religi-
osity among Hindu, Jewish, or Muslim adherents (Loewenthal,
MacLeod, & Cinnirella, 2002).
Women are also more likely to focus on caring for others when
faced with moral dilemmas (Gilligan & Attanucci, 1988; Wark &
Krebs, 1996). Females also exhibit more moral maturity than males
(Wark & Krebs, 1996); however, no gender differences have been
found for moral judgment stage scores (Lifton, 1985). Both compe-
tencies and reflected appraisals recognize that females value this area
more. Thus, we expect that the gender difference in moral– ethical
self-esteem will favor girls and women.
This meta-analysis aims to determine the size and significance of
gender differences in specific domains of self-esteem. The small
gender differences found in global self-esteem (Kling et al., 1999;
Major et al., 1999; Twenge & Campbell, 2001) may be masking
larger differences among specific domains. It is also not clear which
specific facets favor men and which favor women, and how large any
differences are. There may also be significant moderators of the
effects. The current meta-analysis examines gender differences in
self-esteem based on appearance, athletics, academics, social accep-
tance, family, behavioral conduct, affect, personal self, self-
satisfaction, and moral-ethical self.
Moderator Variables
The meta-analytic design also allows us to examine moderator
variables of gender differences in specific self-esteem. For example,
does the gender difference in appearance self-esteem grow larger
during adolescence? We can also examine changes over time to see
whether gender differences in specific self-concept have changed
from the 1970s to the present. In addition, because we are using
several measures of specific self-concept, we can also examine how
consistent gender differences are across the four measures.
Measures of Self-Esteem
We focused on studies that used the four most widely used
scales of multifaceted self-esteem: the Harter, the SDQ, the TSCS,
and the Piers-Harris, each of which demonstrates high reliability
and validity (Blascovich & Tomaka, 1991). Of course, reliability
and validity differs by population. These scales appear to be
equally valid for males and females, although they differ in age
group targeted. The Harter, SDQ, and Piers-Harris scales are
intended for children and are more valid for that age group,
whereas the TSCS were intended for adolescents and adults (Blas-
covich & Tomaka, 1991). These scales are the most popular
measures of specific self-esteem and thus have the most samples
available for analysis. Of note, each of these scales assesses
physical appearance self-esteem, which we hypothesize to be one
of the most important facets for gender differences.
Three of these scales (the SDQ, the TSCS, and the Piers-Harris)
use a similar format, with respondents asked to note if they agree
or disagree with simple first-person statements such as “I am
good-looking,” “I am well-behaved in school,” “I am a member of
a happy family,” “I am a good athlete,” or “I am satisfied with my
moral behavior.” The Harter, intended for young children, instead
uses pictures of children performing various activities— one who
is good at the activity (“This boy isn’t very good at numbers”) and
one who isn’t (“This boy is pretty good at numbers”). Children are
then asked if they are good at that activity (“Are you: Not too good
at numbers OR sort of good, pretty good, OR really good at
Locating Studies
We searched the Web of Science by Thompson Scientific (previ-
ously known as the Science and Social Sciences Citation Index), a
comprehensive database that includes both major and minor journals
from all fields in science and social science. We searched for articles
that cited the original sources for the four scales (Fitts, 1965; Harter,
1985; Marsh & O’Neill, 1984; Marsh, Relich, & Smith, 1983;
Marsh, Smith, & Barnes, 1983; Piers, 1969, 1984; Piers & Harris,
1969; Roid & Fitts, 1988).
We also conducted a search for dissertations using the database
ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. We searched for the keywords
“Harter Self-Perception Profile,” “Self-Description Question-
naire,” “Tennessee Self-Concept Scale,” and “Piers-Harris.” An
initial search yielded a prohibitively high number of dissertations.
We examined a subsample of the available dissertations, locating
those published in 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, and
We included in the meta-analysis studies that met the fol-
lowing criteria: (1) the study did not preselect participants on
any relevant variable (e.g., extreme depression scores, at-risk
status, alcoholics, learning-disabled students, etc.); (2) the study
involved at least 10 participants; and (3) the authors reported the
domain-specific self-esteem scores broken down by gender. Fi-
nally, studies had to report data in such a way that an effect size
could be calculated (see following section on the calculation of
effect sizes).
Coding of Studies
Studies were coded for the following variables: (a) age or age
group of respondents, (b) year of data collection, coded as two
years prior to the date of publication unless another year was noted
in the article (following Oliver & Hyde, 1993), (c) ethnicity/racial
breakdown of the sample, and (d) measure of self-esteem used.
Not enough studies reported data on socioeconomic status to code
this variable. Most studies reported region, but there were not
enough studies conducted outside the United States to analyze this
variable. Studies reporting statistics separately for different age
groups, self-esteem measures, or ethnic groups were coded as
separate data points.
Final Sample of Studies
The search and review procedures led to a final sample of 115
articles and dissertations. These studies included 32,486 partici-
pants and yielded 428 effect sizes (most studies included multiple
effect sizes, as the self-esteem measures all include multiple do-
mains of self-esteem.) A table with a list of the studies included in
the meta-analysis and their reference list can be obtained from
either the first or second author.
Calculation of Effect Sizes
Formulas for the effect size, d, and homogeneity tests were
taken from Hedges and Becker (1986). When means and SDs were
available, the effect size was computed as the mean self-esteem
score for males minus the mean self-esteem score for females,
divided by the pooled SD. When means and SDs were not avail-
able, the effect size was calculated from reported t or F tests. When
t or F was reported, d was calculated by using the formula
provided by Hedges and Becker (1986).
Because effect sizes tend to be upwardly biased when based on
small sample sizes, effect sizes were corrected for bias in the
estimation of population effect sizes using the formula provided by
Hedges (1981). All effect size analyses were weighted analyses
(i.e., each effect size was weighted by an inverted variance;
Hedges & Versa, 1998; Lipsey & Wilson, 2001).
To conduct the meta-analyses, we used mixed-effects models,
which assume that effect size variance can be explained by both
systematic and random components (Lipsey & Wilson, 2001).
In mixed-effects models, certain identifiable study characteris-
tics may act as moderator variables that are associated with
systematic differences among effect sizes at the same time that
a random component of residual variance remains after the
systematic portion is accounted for. The mixed-effects model is
preferable in this case because a fixed-effects model assumes
that the only source of variation is from systematic variation,
and the random effects model assumes none of the variation is
from systematic sources. Mixed-effects models assume the ef-
fects of between-study variables are systematic, but that there is
a remaining unmeasured random effect in the effect size distri-
bution in addition to sampling error. As is done in random
effects models, a random effects variance component (derived
from the residual homogeneity value after the moderators are
taken into account) is estimated and added to the standard error
associated with each effect size and inverted variance weights
are calculated.
Mean Effect Sizes
Mean effect sizes were calculated for each of the self-esteem
domains. The results are reported in Table 1. The number of
samples (k), the weighted d, the 95% confidence interval for d, and
the total homogeneity statistic (Q
) for each self-esteem domain
are reported. To address outlier data points, we eliminated effect
sizes more than 2 SDs above or below the mean (Lipsey & Wilson,
2001). Out of 428 effect sizes, this procedure identified 20 total
outliers that were eliminated from further analyses (4 for physical
appearance, 3 for athletic, 3 for academic, 2 for social accep-
tance, 1 for family, 4 for behavioral conduct, 1 for affect, 1 for
personal self, and 1 for self-satisfaction).
Significant mean effect sizes ranged from 0.17 to 0.41 (see
Table 1). As expected, males scored higher than females on
physical appearance, athletic, personal, and self-satisfaction self-
esteem, but females scored significantly higher than males on
behavioral conduct and moral– ethical self-esteem. Academic, af-
fect, social acceptance, and family self-esteem did not show signifi-
cant gender differences, because their 95% confidence intervals in-
cluded zero (or nearly included zero, in the case of affect). Table 2
compares the predictions from the reflected appraisals and com-
petencies models with the results of the analyses. Overall, the
reflected appraisals model receives more support.
Only six out of the 10 domains included enough datapoints from
dissertations to compare unpublished versus published data. Of
these, four showed no significant differences by publication status.
Unpublished dissertations produced a higher effect size (d 0.72,
k 4) than published journal articles (d 0.33, k 72),
(2) 16.02, p .001, for physical appearance, and dissertations
showed a higher effect size (d 0.70, k 3) than published
articles (d 0.18, k 7),
(2) 8.91, p .05 for self-
satisfaction. Thus, there were few differences by publication sta-
tus, and the higher effect sizes for dissertations argue against the
possibility of a file-drawer problem.
Moderator Analyses
Physical appearance. Homogeneity analyses using procedures
specified by Hedges and Becker (1986) and Lipsey and Wilson (2001)
indicated that the set of 76 effect sizes was significantly heteroge-
neous, Q
(75) 118.60, p .001. The significant
between-groups homogeneity statistics for age,
(4) 13.28, p
.01, data collection year
(3) 16.27, p .001, and measure,
(3) 7.82, p .05 suggest that there is a significant difference in
the magnitude of the effect sizes as a function of these moderator
variables. As can be seen from Table 3, gender differences in physical
appearance self-esteem were largest during adulthood. However, that
effect size was based on only two samples. Of the age groups with
more samples, the largest gender difference in appearance self-esteem
occurred during early adolescence, consistent with the idea that the
standards of others for a sexualized adult female appearance is at the
root of the difference (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997).
Time period also moderated the effect; there was not a significant
gender difference during the 1970s, but beginning in the 1980s
women scored significantly lower than men in physical appearance
self-esteem. There are also slight differences based on measure, with
the smallest differences on the Harter and the largest on the TSCS.
Athletic. Homogeneity analyses showed that the set of 68
effect sizes was significantly heterogeneous. As shown in Table 4,
measure is the only significant moderator variable, with effect
sizes for the Harter and the TSCS moderate and comparable but
the effect size for the SDQ near zero.
Academic. The set of 75 effect sizes was significantly heteroge-
neous, Q
(74) 117.35, p .001. As shown in Table
5, age is a significant moderator. While there are no significant
differences between males and females on academic self-esteem at
most ages, a small difference emerges during adulthood favoring
Social acceptance. Homogeneity analyses indicated that the
set of 81 effect sizes was significantly heterogeneous, Q
(80) 101.88, p .05. As shown in Table 6
, year was
a significant moderator, with the effect closer to zero during the
1980s and very small during the other eras.
Family. Homogeneity analyses indicated that the set of 21
effect sizes was not heterogeneous, Q
Table 1
Summary of Main Effects for Gender Differences in Domain-
Specific Self-Esteem
Self-esteem domain kd 95% CI Q
Physical appearance 76 .35 .31, .40 288.07
Athletic 68 .41 .36, .46 322.33
Academic 75 .04 .00, .08 155.60
Social acceptance 81 .04 .02, .10 109.84
Family 21 .02 .07, .04 20.41
Behavioral conduct 56 .17 .28, .06 88.85
Affect 17 .11 .04, .19 19.18
Personal self 9 .28 .11, .45 23.82
Self-satisfaction 10 .33 .18, .49 58.78
Moral–ethical 15 .38 .48, .29 59.47
Note. k number of studies; d effect size; CI confidence interval;
total homogeneity. A positive d indicates that males scored higher;
a negative d indicates that females scored higher.
p .05.
p .01.
p .001.
Table 2
Comparison of the Model Predictions and Actual Outcomes
Self-esteem domain
Reflected appraisals model
Competencies model
predictions Actual findings
Physical appearance Males higher Females higher/no difference Males higher
Athletic Males higher Males higher Males higher
Academic Males higher/no difference Females higher No difference
Social acceptance No difference Females higher No difference
Family Males higher No difference No difference
Behavioral conduct Females higher Females higher Females higher
Affect No difference No difference No difference
Personal Males higher No difference Males higher
Self-satisfaction Males higher No difference Males higher
Moral–ethical Females higher Females higher Females higher
31.41, p .05. Thus, no moderator variable analyses were
Behavioral conduct. The set of 56 effect sizes was significantly
heterogeneous, Q
(55) 82.29, p .01. As shown in
Table 7, age is a significant moderator, with the female advan-
tage in behavioral conduct self-esteem increasing as youth get
older. Year is also a moderator, with the female advantage
increasing until the 1990s and then reversing in the 2000s.
Affect. Homogeneity analyses indicated that the set of 17 effect
sizes was not heterogeneous, Q
(16) 26.30, p .05.
Thus, no moderator variable analyses were conducted.
Personal self. Homogeneity analyses indicated that the set of 9
effect sizes was significantly heterogeneous, Q
(8) 20.09, p .01. However, none of the moderator variable
analyses reached significance.
Self-satisfaction. The set of 10 effect sizes was significantly
heterogeneous, Q
(9) 27.88, p .001. Not all
groups had 2 or more studies, which restricted moderator analyses.
It appears that gender differences in self-satisfaction self-esteem
are largest during high school versus college and are larger in the
most recent decade in comparison to the 1970s (see Table 8).
Moral– ethical. Homogeneity analyses indicated that the set
of 15 effect sizes was significantly heterogeneous, Q
(14) 36.12, p .001. The female advantage in moral-ethical
self-esteem gets increasingly larger over time and is larger in
studies that employ the SDQ rather than the Piers-Harris (see
Table 9).
Overall. If we make the assumption that global self-esteem
equals the sum of all domains of specific self-esteem, we can
estimate the gender difference for global self-esteem here as
d 0.10. This is smaller than the effect size for measures of global
self-esteem (d 0.15: Kling et al., 1999), perhaps because appear-
ance plays a disproportionate role in determining global self-esteem
(Harter, 1993), especially among younger people. Thus, this estimate
must be considered only a rough approximation, as it does not weight
the domains of self-esteem.
This study used meta-analytic techniques to investigate 428
effect sizes of gender differences in specific domains of self-
esteem. Males scored significantly higher than females on physical
appearance (d 0.35), athletic (d 0.41), personal self
(d 0.28), and self-satisfaction (d 0.33) self-esteem. Females
scored higher than males on behavioral conduct (d ⫽⫺0.17) and
moral– ethical self-esteem (d ⫽⫺0.38). No significant gender dif-
Table 3
Moderating Variables in Physical Appearance Self-Esteem
Variable and class Between-groups Hk d 95% CI for d Within-group H
Age group 17.13
Elementary school (ages 5–10) 24 0.30 0.22, 0.38 102.92
Junior high (ages 11–13) 25 0.41 0.33, 0.49 57.47
High school (ages 14–17) 14 0.30 0.19, 0.42 59.71
College (ages 18–22) 8 0.25 0.10, 0.40 17.53
Adult (ages 23–58) 5 0.73 0.51, 0.96 33.31
Year 32.14
1970–1979 8 0.09 0.09, 0.28 14.39
1980–1989 22 0.33 0.25, 0.41 50.24
1990–1999 34 0.38 0.31, 0.46 70.74
2000–2006 11 0.32 0.20, 0.45 120.54
Self-Esteem measure 9.15
Piers-Harris 10 0.39 0.24, 0.54 41.69
Self-Description Questionnaire 13 0.33 0.23, 0.43 61.14
Harter Self-Perception Profile 15 0.21 0.09, 0.32 70.09
Tennessee Self-Concept Scale 38 0.41 0.34, .047 106.00
Note. k number of studies; d difference in terms of SDs; CI confidence interval; H homogeneity. A positive d indicates that males scored higher;
a negative d indicates that females scored higher.
p .05.
p .01.
p .001.
Table 4
Moderating Variables in Athletic Self-Esteem
Variable and class Between-groups Hk d 95% CI for d Within-group H
Self-Esteem measure 37.60
Self-Description Questionnaire 12 0.06 0.05, 0.17 48.01
Harter Self-Perception Profile 12 0.58 0.45, 0.71 70.49
Tennessee Self-Concept Scale 44 0.48 0.41, 0.54 166.23
Note. k number of studies; d difference in terms of SDs; CI confidence interval; H homogeneity. A positive d indicates that males scored higher;
a negative d indicates that females scored higher.
p .001.
ferences appeared in academic, social acceptance, family, and affect
self-esteem. Most of the significant gender differences are moderate in
size (between .20 and .40 SDs). Nevertheless, the differences in
appearance, athletic, self-satisfaction, and moral– ethical self-
esteem are larger than the established gender differences in verbal
abilities, empathy, and adult aggression (Ashmore, 1990) and the
White-Asian difference in self-esteem (Twenge & Crocker, 2002).
Thus, the results challenge the idea that self-esteem differences
between men and women are small. It is more accurate to say that
the difference varies depending on the specific domain. Within
some domains, such as physical appearance, athletic, and moral-
ethical self-esteem, the gender differences are more than double
those found with general self-esteem measures.
Overall, the results favor the reflected appraisals model. Both
models made correct predictions in 4 domains (athletic, behavioral
conduct, affect, moral-ethical); competencies were correct and
reflected appraisals wrong in 1 (family); and reflected appraisals
were right and competencies wrong in 5 (physical appearance,
academics, social acceptance, personal, and self- satisfaction). If
people evaluated their abilities based on objective competence,
males would score higher on athletic self-esteem, females would
score higher on academic, social acceptance, behavioral conduct,
and moral-ethical self-esteem, and there would be no gender
differences in the other domains. However, one of the largest gender
differences was in physical appearance, a domain where competen-
cies predicted no differences or even a female advantage but re-
flected appraisals correctly predicted a considerable male advan-
tage. Competences and reflected appraisals apparently canceled
each other out in the domains of academics and social acceptance.
The male advantage in physical appearance self-esteem was
significant at all ages but was most pronounced during adulthood.
The gender gap did not increase consistently from childhood to
adulthood, but rather increased from childhood to junior high, then
decreased throughout high school and college before rising again
in adulthood. These results are consistent with research showing
that female body satisfaction decreases during adolescence while
males’ stabilizes or increases (Hargreaves & Tiggemann, 2002;
Harter, 1990, 1993). It is also consistent with studies showing that
female body dissatisfaction persists during adulthood (Forbes et
al., 2001; Tiggemann & Rothblum, 1997). Prior to adulthood, the
largest gender gap occurs during junior high school. This may
reflect the fact that females begin puberty earlier than males and
thus may show more concern over their development compared
with their male peers, whose development is more delayed. This is
consistent with the traditional theory that lower self-esteem in
females is related to the physical changes of puberty (Rosenberg,
The gender difference in appearance self-esteem was not sig-
nificantly different from zero during the 1970s. After 1980, the
difference rose to about a third of a SD and stayed there. This may
have been caused by the increasing media focus on appearance
during the 1980s and afterward. As Fredrickson and Roberts’
(1997) objectification theory would predict, this may have led to
lowered appearance self-esteem for women through reflected ap-
There were no significant gender differences on academic self-
esteem. Given that females show higher academic performance,
this is consistent with research showing that females may discount
their academic abilities even when they excel (Eccles et al., 1993;
Hyde et al., 1990; Jacobs et al., 2002; Pomerantz et al., 2002;
Stetsenko et al., 2000; Weiss et al., 2003). In this case, actual
competencies are washed out by reflected (or perhaps self-) ap-
Table 5
Moderating Variables in Academic Self-Esteem
Variable and class Between-groups Hk d 95% CI for d Within-group H
Age group 10.25
Elementary school (ages 5–10) 30 0.10 0.04, 0.16 74.92
Junior high (ages 11–13) 30 0.01 0.05, 0.07 50.26
High school (ages 14–17) 8 0.00 0.15, 0.15 1.91
College (ages 18–22) 5 0.07 0.24, 0.10 17.01
Adult (ages 23–58) 2 0.21 0.45, 0.04 1.25
Note. k number of studies; d difference in terms of SDs; CI confidence interval; H homogeneity. A positive d indicates that males scored higher;
a negative d indicates that females scored higher.
p .05.
p .01.
p .001.
Table 6
Moderating Variables in Social Acceptance Self-Esteem
Variable and class Between-groups Hk d 95% CI for d Within-group H
Year 16.51
1970–1979 8 0.12 0.11, 0.34 7.85
1980–1989 19 0.01 0.13, 0.11 20.28
1990–1999 36 0.07 0.03, 0.16 34.16
2000–2006 17 0.09 0.04, 0.22 31.04
Note. k number of studies; d difference in terms of SDs; CI confidence interval; H homogeneity. A positive d indicates that males scored higher;
a negative d indicates that females scored higher.
p .001.
Females scored significantly higher on behavioral conduct self-
esteem. This reflects research showing that females behave better
(e.g., Bosacki, 2003; Cole et al., 2001; Wu & Smith, 1997),
whereas males tend to act out more (Wicks-Nelson & Israel,
2003). This difference grows as children grow older, suggesting
that experience in school reinforces these beliefs. Moral– ethical
self-esteem was significantly higher in females, supporting previ-
ous research finding greater religiosity among women (at least in
Christian populations). The gender difference is largest during
high school; thus females may mature faster in their morality than
males (Wark & Krebs, 1996). The difference has grown over the
decades; there was no significant gender difference in the 1970s,
but the effect size now exceeds half a SD.
Males scored significantly higher than females on the personal
self and self-satisfaction subscales. Personal self and self-
satisfaction are similar to global self-esteem (they all measure
happiness with oneself as a person). The differences here are
higher than those in the previous meta-analyses on global self-
esteem, but are very close to the meta-analytic effect sizes for
adolescents, who comprised the majority of the samples on these
domains in this meta-analysis.
An influential review (Baumeister, Campbell, Kruger, & Vohs,
2003) found that global self-esteem was linked to happiness, but
had few benefits for academic achievement, work performance, or
healthy behaviors. In contrast, domain-specific measures of self-
esteem are consistently correlated with performance within that
domain, apparently in a reciprocal process in which each causes
the other (Marsh & Craven, 2006). These results are explained by
the specificity matching hypothesis, which contends that the most
meaningful linkages are between attitudes and behavior within the
same domain. Nevertheless, many interventions for girls and
women conflate domain-specific self-esteem with general self-
esteem (e.g., the Dove Self-Esteem Fund, which opines that “Too
many girls develop low self-esteem from hang-ups about looks
and, consequently, fail to reach their full potential in later life.”)
Research on global vs. domain-specific self-esteem suggests in-
stead that most girls with “low self-esteem from hangups about
looks” will do just fine in reaching their potential (e.g., academi-
cally), but may continue to have low appearance self-esteem and
might be at risk for eating disorders.
Table 7
Moderating Variables in Behavioral Conduct Self-Esteem
Variable and class Between-groups Hk d 95% CI for d Within-group H
Age group 10.09
Elementary school (ages 5–10) 19 0.10 0.29, 0.09 47.13
Junior high (ages 11–13) 26 0.23 0.39, 0.08 25.27
High school (ages 14–17) 7 0.25 0.55, 0.06 5.62
College (ages 18–22) 3 0.27 0.73, 0.20 0.74
Year 14.18
19701979 7 0.09 0.42, 0.24 3.42
19801989 9 0.12 0.37, 0.13 3.34
19901999 30 0.30 0.45, 0.15 32.21
20002006 9 0.22 0.05, 0.49 35.70
Note. k number of studies; d difference in terms of SDs; CI confidence interval; H homogeneity. A positive d indicates that males scored higher;
a negative d indicates that females scored higher.
p .05.
p .01.
p .001.
Table 8
Moderating Variables in Self-Satisfaction Self-Esteem
Variable and class Between-groups Hk d 95% CI for d Within-group H
Age group 50.32
High school (ages 14–17) 4 0.36 0.13 3.63
College (ages 18–22) 4 0.05 0.21 4.83
Year 14.20
1970–1979 7 0.11 0.08 6.15
2000–2006 2 0.81 0.46 38.43
Note. k number of studies; d difference in terms of SDs; CI confidence interval; H homogeneity. A positive d indicates that males scored higher;
a negative d indicates that females scored higher.
p .001.
As appearance is an area in which “performance” is difficult to
measure (and looking good may have come at the expense of an
eating disorder) the consequences of low appearance self-esteem
are more difficult to quantify than the consequences of, for exam-
ple, low academic self-esteem. Outcomes linked to low appearance
self-esteem may be fueled by mediators such as objectification
(Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997) and other risk factors for eating
disorders. Thus any interventions designed to help girls and
women avoid the negative consequences of low appearance self-
esteem should be focused specifically on appearance and not on
general self-esteem. An even more expeditious rotue might be to
bypass appearance self-esteem and directly target the root causes
of negative outcomes such as eating disorders. Using the appraisals
model as a basis, such interventions might help girls and women
develop a more objective view of how others see them rather than
relying on media images as universal standards. This may be more
effective than self-esteem boosting efforts that fail to account for
this important social context. “You’re beautiful just for being you”
falls on deaf ears if girls believe that others will see them as
beautiful only if they meet an impossible standard.
Measurement Effects and Limitations
The effect sizes were fairly consistent across the self-esteem
measures used for most of the subscales, with few exceptions. A
large gender difference favoring males was found on the athletic
self-esteem subscale of the Harter and TSCS, compared with a
difference of near zero on the SDQ. However, the SDQ showed a
larger female advantage on moral– ethical self-esteem than the
Piers-Harris. One limitation is that age and measure were con-
founded, because adult samples completed the TSCS and child
samples the other measures. In general, the biggest limitation of
this analysis is the small number of samples from adult popula-
tions; the majority of the data here come from children and
adolescents. Future research should explore how gender differ-
ences in the domains of self-esteem change during the course of
adult life.
The current meta-analysis found that gender differences vary
widely across the subdomains of self-esteem, some showing no
difference at all, and others with gender differences in the mod-
erate range. The differences obtained in this study were moderated
by variables such as age, year of data collection, and measure. Like
the meta-analyses of global self-esteem, these analyses do not find
extremely large gender differences in self-esteem. However, many
of the gender differences in specific domains of self-esteem are
considerably larger than the d 0.15 difference in global self-
esteem. In some areas, like that of athletic ability, these gender
differences reflect actual gender differences in competence and
performance. In other areas, such as physical appearance, women’s
lower self-esteem derives not from actual deficits but from the
more critical reflected appraisals of others—including the larger
“other” of idealized media images.
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Received December 10, 2007
Revision received July 21, 2008
Accepted July 22, 2008
... than either younger or older age levels. A similar pattern was observed in a second meta-analysis (Gentile et al., 2009) testing for gender differences in self-satisfaction. The researchers found a small and significant difference in high school samples (d = .36, ...
... Meta-analyses indicate higher satisfaction with physical appearance and more positive body image among males than females. Gentile et al. (2009) found a small average gender difference (d = .35) in self-evaluations of 832 Gender and Social-Cognitive Development physical appearance. ...
... Based on available meta-analyses, significantly higher self-evaluations of ability have been found for boys than girls in several domains (Gentile et al., 2009;Syzmanowicz & Furnham, 2011). In samples including children and adolescents, this was seen in self-estimates of overall intelligence (d = .27), ...
This chapter presents contemporary theory and research on children's gender development from a social-cognitive perspective. The author first examines contemporary social-cognitive theories and conceptual models pertinent to the study of gender development. These include cognitive-developmental, information-processing, intergroup, and motivational approaches. Second, he summarizes the development of children's gender cognitions and examines their ramifications for a variety of areas, including gender stereotyping, attitudes, prejudice, self-concepts, and gender as a social identity. Third, he considers possible causes and consequences of gender-typed play. In the fourth section, the author reviews research on gender similarities and differences in children's competencies in academic achievement (including verbal, spatial, mathematical, science, and artistic domains), athletic achievement, interpersonal competence, and intrapersonal competence, among others. Fifth, he highlights some of the individual and social-relational influences on gender-related variations in performance and achievement. The chapter closes by advocating for future work that offers more theory-bridging and replications of prior empirical research.
... For example, they report lower levels of satisfaction (or greater dissatisfaction) with appearance (Frederick et al., 2007;Quittkat et al., 2019), estimated to be a medium effect in primarily White samples in the US (Frederick et al., 2020;Muth & Cash, 1997). Furthermore, samples of older adult and college women display significantly more investment in appearance than men (Lipowska et al., 2016;Muth & Cash, 1997;Quittkat et al., 2019), with a meta-analysis of 115 studies reporting a pooled medium effect for differences on appearance-based self-concept which were stronger in adults (Gentile et al., 2009). Supporting their relevance to the current study, significant positive and negative associations respectively have been reported between appearance satisfaction (Alleva et al., 2017;Bruce & Ricciardelli, 2016) and dissatisfaction (Carbonneau et al., 2016;Linardon et al., 2021; with intuitive eating, estimated to be medium to large effects for body image concerns (Bruce & Ricciardelli, 2016;Linardon et al., 2021). ...
... These trends, and associated effect sizes, were generally consistent with past research, with the greatest difference on body surveillance (Frederick et al., 2007), followed by functional satisfaction (Lipowska et al., 2016) and aesthetic satisfaction (Frederick et al., 2020;Muth & Cash, 1997). Although the small effects found on body appreciation reflect previous work (He et al., 2020), effects were smaller for investment on both domains than previously reported for appearance-based self-esteem (Gentile et al., 2009), though lower scores on functional investment in women relative to men aligned with past work (Abbott & Barber, 2010). This may reflect the different measures employed to assess investment across studies, with those focused on the impact of appearance on self-worth perhaps demonstrating greater differences than those assessing the value and behavioural investment in appearance, as in this study. ...
Intuitive eating is an adaptive and flexible form of eating. Men report higher rates of intuitive eating than women. Objectification processes are proposed to underlie this (binary) gender difference due to the intense body-related pressures that disrupt body image in women. The current study is the first known to test whether body image indirectly explains lower levels of intuitive eating in women relative to men. A cross-sectional sample of 498 adults aged 18-74 years recruited through Prolific completed an online survey assessing intuitive eating and negative and positive body image indicators. Women reported poorer body image and lower levels of intuitive eating compared to men. Significant indirect effects suggested body image explained gender differences in intuitive eating, controlling for age and body mass index. In women relative to men, greater body surveillance and lower aesthetic satisfaction explained lower total intuitive eating and reliance on hunger and satiety, greater aesthetic investment explained lower total intuitive eating and eating for physical reasons, and lower functionality investment explained lower body-food choice congruence. More research is needed, but findings suggest programs may benefit from decreasing critical views of appearance and strengthening functionality investment in women to reduce gender differences in intuitive eating.
... In addition it may be the case that Zoom fatigue is worse for women because they experience the nonverbal elements of video-conferencing as requiring greater cognitive effort. Self-presentational concerns to look attractive, positive, and attentive during social interactions are often more salient for women than men (Gentile et al., 2009;Grogan, 2021), suggesting that the presence of nonverbal cues like facial expressions and gaze in video-conferences may prove to be particularly cognitively effortful for women. The nonverbal elements of video-conferencing may also disproportionately impact women as they tend to be more attuned to the nonverbal communication cues produced by others (Hall & Gunnery, 2013;Schmid et al., 2011). ...
... Women in particular report experiencing substantially more Zoom fatigue in part because they report being more sensitive to these nonverbal mechanisms. Selfpresentational concerns to look attractive, positive, and attentive during social interactions are often more salient for women than men (Connell, 2009;Gentile et al., 2009;Grogan, 2021;Hawes et al., 2020;Rui & Stefanone, 2013), suggesting that the reintroduction of nonverbal cues like facial expressions and gaze in video-conferencing are particularly tiring for women. The mediating effect of mirror anxiety on the gender fatigue effect is consistent with the psychological research on self-focused attention and negative affect (Ingram et al., 1988). ...
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The widespread adoption of video-conferencing has not only transformed communication at scale, but also increased feelings of Zoom fatigue among workers around the world. Although Zoom fatigue is well-documented, it is still unclear what aspects of video-conferencing contribute to this sense of exhaustion. This paper leveraged theory on computer-mediated communication (CMC) to investigate the causes of Zoom fatigue in an online convenience sample of 9787 participants. We provide empirical evidence that Zoom fatigue is influenced by the dynamics of individuals' video-conferencing usage and their psychological experience of the meeting. Specifically, our results support Bailenson's theory of nonverbal overload (2021) that video-conferences are exhausting because maintaining the nonverbal communication cues required in video-based calls (e.g., making eye contact with many people at once) can be draining. We found that people who used video-conferencing more frequently, for longer, and with fewer breaks reported more Zoom fatigue. However, people also experienced more Zoom fatigue when they experienced (1) mirror anxiety from seeing their self-image, (2) hyper-gaze from feeling watched by many faces, (3) feeling physically trapped, and challenges in (4) effort in producing nonverbal cues, and (5) effort in monitoring others' nonverbal cues, even when controlling for differences in usage dynamics. Relative to men, women also reported greater Zoom fatigue after video-conferencing because they experienced the above nonverbal mechanisms to a greater extent. This work advances theory on CMC by reflecting on how video-conferencing can recreate and reconfigure nonverbal cues present in face-to-face communication. We discuss practical strategies to combat Zoom fatigue to improve digital well-being.
...  Špecifické sebahodnoteniepopisuje osobnú spokojnosť (z angl. self-satisfaction) v špecifických oblastiach (akademická, sociálna, a i.) (Gentile et al. 2009). Fluktuuje, závisí od okolností, rolí, situácií, môže byť vysoké v jednom momente (napr. ...
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Monografia teoreticky analyzuje virtuálne prostredie a jeho aspekty, ponúka pohľad na identitu dospievajúceho vo virtuálnom prostredí, nevyhnutnosť sociálnej opory a rôznorodosti sociálnych vzťahov v reálnom i virtuálnom svete. Taktiež obsahuje základný výcvikový program, ktorého cieľom je u dospievajúcich minimalizovať riziká virtuálneho sveta, nakoľko sú mu často krát vystavení nekontrolovateľne. Z daného dôvodu sa zameriava na dospievajúceho a posilňovanie optimálneho sebaobrazu, ako i na utváranie a upevňovanie reálnych sociálnych sietí. Súbor zážitkovo-edukatívnych aktivít je koncepčne rozdelený do dvoch hlavných oblastí. Prvá je obsahovo zameraná na dospievajúceho, jeho psychologickú výbavu zahŕňajúcu názory, postoje, emócie, kompetencie a na sebapoznávanie. Druhá oblasť je zameraná na interpersonálne reálne a virtuálne vzťahy, na uvedomenie si výhod a nevýhod internetovej komunikácie a živého kontaktu, a v neposlednom rade na optimálnejšie využívanie internetu a uprednostňovanie interakcie v reálnom prostredí.
... In the general national population, this global inferiority feeling is translated into several personal characteristics. One of them is the trait self-esteem, which is defined as the extent to which a person prizes, approves, likes, or values him or herself [50] and has been consistently observed as lower in women [51,52]. Another personal characteristic is self-efficacy, that is, the evaluation of one's proficiency and chances of succeeding at a specific task or in learning a specific discipline [53]. ...
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In the context of the efforts to reach equity in the classroom, peer feedback (PFB) is used, among other participative learning methods, as it is considered to minimize gender differences. Yet, recent studies have reported gender discrepancies in students’ willingness to provide feedback to their peers. Building on Gilligan’s theory of moral development, we tried to refine the source of this difference. We conducted a semi-experimental study during which education students of both genders performing a PFB activity in a face-to-face course were asked to fill out a questionnaire. This allowed us to estimate the link between, on the one hand, the comfort in providing PFB and the willingness to provide PFB, and on the other hand, personal characteristics like self-esteem, self-efficacy, and empathic concern, and intellectual characteristics like self-efficacy in the learned discipline and the proficiency to write and understand feedback. The linear regression analysis of 57 students’ answers to the questionnaire did not reveal gender differences in comfort in providing PFB and willingness to do so, but showed that the comfort in providing PFB was linked to cognitive proficiency in students of both genders, whereas the willingness to provide PFB was independent of any other variables in men and linked to self-esteem, empathic concern, and comfort in providing feedback in women. This result indicates a differential sensitivity to social factors in male and female students, aligning with Gilligan’s model of women’s ‘ethics of care’. Possible applications in education would be the use of PFB to train women in self-esteem or, inversely, the improvement of psychological safety in PFB exercises in groups including female students.
... This area pertains to the relationship that women have with themselves and presents questions regarding self-esteem, as indicated by previous authors, which defines global self-esteem as the positivity of one's overall regard for oneself as a person [66]. This gender gap is also aligned with the studies of Zuckerman et al., which highlighted that at every stage of life, there is a difference in self-perception in favor of males, both in terms of global and specific self-esteem [69][70][71]. So, taken together, these observations suggest that gender-gap-related issues are far from being solved and should be a priority in the policymakers' agenda. ...
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Happiness is receiving more and more interest both as a determinant of health and a measure of outcome in biomedical and psychological sciences. The main objective of this study was to assess how the levels of happiness vary in a large sample of Italian adults and to identify the socio-demographic conditions which impair happiness domains the most. The participants of this survey consisted of 1695 Italian adults (85.9% women; 14.1% men) who completed the Measure of Happiness (MH) questionnaire online. In this study, the differences between groups in total and single domain (life perspective, psychophysical status, socio-relational sphere, relational private sphere, and financial status) happiness levels were examined through a propensity score matching analysis with respect to socio-demographic conditions, including gender, age, annual income, relationship status, having children, and education level. The results show that low income has a negative impact on happiness levels, whereas being in a relationship has a positive effect. Having children appears to have a negative impact on male happiness. Males appear to be happier than females, especially with regard to the psychophysics status. This evidence emphasizes the urgency for Italian policymakers to take actions on removing obstacles to people’s happiness, especially with regard to financial distress, parenthood, and gender gaps.
... More time spent online may therefore increase girls' exposure to contents that lead to repeated upward social comparisons which can be detrimental to self-esteem and mental health (Seedat et al., 2009). Previous research has also shown that adolescent girls report lower self-esteem than boys, particularly for appearance-related dimensions of self-esteem (Gentile, Grabe, Dolan-Pascoe, Twenge, & Wells, 2009). As such, it may be the case that girls are more vulnerable to certain types of internet use, such as social media engagement. ...
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Background: The extent to which digital media use by adolescents contributes to poor mental health, or vice-versa, remains unclear. The purpose of the present study is to clarify the strength and direction of associations between adolescent internet use and the development of depression symptoms using a longitudinal modeling approach. We also examine whether associations differ for boys and girls. Methods: Data are drawn from (N = 1547) participants followed for the Quebec longitudinal Study of Child Development (QLSCD 1998-2020). Youth self-reported internet use in terms of the average hours of use per week at the ages of 13, 15, and 17. Youth also self-reported depression symptoms at the same ages. Results: After testing sex-invariance, random intercepts cross-lagged panel models stratified by sex, revealed that internet use by girls was associated with significant within-person (time-varying) change in depression symptoms. Girl's internet use at age 13 was associated with increased depression symptoms at age 15 (ß = 0.12) and internet use at age 15 increased depression at age 17 (ß = 0.10). For boys, internet use was not associated with significant time varying change in depression symptoms. Conclusions: The present findings support the hypothesis that internet use by adolescents can represent a significant risk factor for the development of depressive symptoms, particularly in girls.
... Self-esteem, literally defined as the degree to which individuals believe themselves to be valuable or adequate [21], is one such essential component and strongly related to happiness [22]. Similar to gender differences in mental disorders, a meta-analysis of self-esteem also revealed that women report lower levels of self-esteem than men [23]. Although high levels of self-esteem are associated with positive self-attitudes and are protective against adverse mental health outcomes [24], low levels of self-esteem, more commonly reported by people belonging to sexual minority populations [25], increase the likelihood of mental health difficulties. ...
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Background Health-related research on sexual minority populations in China is lacking, and research on sexual and gender minority women (SGMW, including transgender women and persons of other gender identities assigned female at birth of all sexual orientations, and cisgender women with nonheterosexual orientations) is even less. Currently, there are limited surveys related to mental health in Chinese SGMW, but there are no studies on their quality of life (QOL), no studies comparing the QOL of SGMW with that of cisgender heterosexual women (CHW), and no studies on the relationship between sexual identity and the QOL as well as associated mental health variables. Objective This study aims to evaluate the QOL and mental health in a diverse sample of Chinese women and make comparisons between SGMW and CHW and then investigate the relationship between sexual identity and the QOL through the role of mental health. MethodsA cross-sectional online survey was conducted from July to September 2021. All participants completed a structured questionnaire containing the World Health Organization Quality of Life–abbreviated short version (WHOQOL-BREF), the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), the 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale (GAD-7), and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES). ResultsIn total, 509 women aged 18-56 years were recruited, including 250 (49.1%) CHW and 259 (50.9%) SGMW. Independent t tests showed that the SGMW reported significantly lower levels of QOL, higher levels of depression and anxiety symptoms, and lower self-esteem than the CHW. Pearson correlations showed that every domain and the overall QOL were positively associated with mental health variables, with moderate-to-strong correlations (r range 0.42-0.75, P
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Peace of mind is an important affective well-being valued in Chinese culture. Mindfulness and self-compassion could potentially promote peace of mind. However, the mechanisms underlying these effects were not well understood. The current cross-sectional study aimed to investigate whether nonattachment explained the effects of mindfulness and self-compassion on peace of mind. A sample of 364 Chinese adults was recruited from WeChat, a popular Chinese social media platform. Participants filled out an online survey including measures of dispositional mindfulness, self-compassion, nonattachment, and peace of mind. The results of correlation analyses revealed significant and positive associations among mindfulness, self-compassion, nonattachment, and peace of mind. Furthermore, nonattachment significantly mediated the associations between mindfulness and self-compassion with peace of mind. Moderated mediation analyses indicated that the relationships between mindfulness and self-compassion with nonattachment were stronger for women than for men. Gender did not moderate the direct effects of mindfulness and self-compassion on peace of mind, the relationship between nonattachment and peace of mind, and the mediating effects of mindfulness and self-compassion on peace of mind through nonattachment. These findings suggest that nonattachment may be a potential mechanism through which mindfulness and self-compassion promote peace of mind among Chinese adults. If the mediating effects are confirmed in future longitudinal and experimental studies, mindfulness and self-compassion interventions can emphasize nonattachment to optimize their effects on peace of mind. It may also be important to tailor mindfulness and self-compassion training for men and women given the gender differences in the relationships between mindfulness and self-compassion with nonattachment.
The authors investigated the effects of gender, gender role, and type of moral dilemma on moral maturity and moral orientation. Fifty-five female and 55 male university students were given the Personal Attributes Questionnaire (J. T. Spence & R. L. Helmreich, 1978), L. Kohlberg's test of moral judgment, and instructions to discuss a personal and impersonal real-life moral dilemma. Moral stage, moral orientation, and the relation between them varied across dilemmas. Females were more consistent than males in moral stage; males were more consistent in moral orientation. Females made higher stage and more care-based moral judgments than males made on personal real-life dilemmas. The observed variations occurred primarily because males reported more Stage 2, justice-pulling antisocial dilemmas than females, and females reported more Stage 3, care-pulling prosocial dilemmas than males. A more interactional model of moral judgment than the models of L. Kohlberg and C. Gilligan is recommended.
These meta-analyses examine race differences in self-esteem among 712 datapoints. Blacks scored higher than Whites on self-esteem measures ( d =0.19), but Whites scored higher than other racial minority groups, including Hispanics ( d =-0.09), Asians ( d =-0.30), and American Indians ( d =-0.21). Most of these differences were smallest in childhood and grew larger with age. Blacks' self-esteem increased over time relative to Whites', with the Black advantage not appearing until the 1980s. Black and Hispanic samples scored higher on measures without an academic self-esteem subscale. Relative to Whites, minority males had lower self-esteem than did minority females, and Black and Hispanic self-esteem was higher in groups with high socioeconomic status. The results are most consistent with a cultural interpretation of racial differences in self-esteem. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
It was hypothesized that women are more vulnerable to depressive symptoms than men because they are more likely to experience chronic negative circumstances (or strain), to have a low sense of mastery, and to engage in ruminative coping. The hypotheses were tested in a 2-wave study of approximately 1,100 community-based adults who were 25 to 75 years old. Chronic strain, low mastery, and rumination were each more common in women than in men and mediated the gender difference in depressive symptoms. Rumination amplified the effects of mastery and, to some extent, chronic strain on depressive symptoms. In addition, chronic strain and rumination had reciprocal effects on each other over time, and low mastery also contributed to more rumination. Finally, depressive symptoms contributed to more rumination and less mastery over time.
In a discipline with few universally accepted principles, the proposition that people are motivated to maintain and enhance their self-esteem has achieved the rare status of an axiom. The notion that people want to think highly of themselves, behave in ways that promote self-esteem, and become distressed when their needs for self-esteem are unmet can be found in the writings of classic personality theorists (Adler, 1930; Allport, 1937; Horney, 1937; Rogers, 1959), contemporary social psychologists (Green-berg, Pyszczynski, & Solomon, 1986; Greenwald, 1980; Greenwald & Breckler, 1985; Steele, 1988; Taylor & Brown, 1988; Tesser, 1988), and clinicians (Bednar, Wells, & Peterson, 1989). The self-esteem motive has been invoked as an explanation for a wide variety of behaviors, including prejudice (Katz, 1960), self-serving attributions (Blaine & Crocker, 1993; Snyder, Stephan, & Rosenfield, 1978), reactions to evaluations (S. C. Jones, 1973), self-handicapping (E. E. Jones & Berglas, 1978), responses to counterattitudinal behavior (Steele, 1988), and self-presentation (Schlenker, 1980). Furthermore, low self-esteem has been linked to problems such as depression, alcohol abuse, suicide, and eating disorders, and high self-esteem has been implicated in good mental health (e.g., Baumeister, 1991; Bednar et al., 1989; Taylor & Brown, 1988). If previous theorists and researchers are correct in their claims, the need to protect and enhance one’s self-esteem constitutes an exceptionally pervasive and important motive.
Four meta-analyses were conducted to examine gender differences in personality in the literature (1958-1992) and in normative data for well-known personality inventories (1940-1992). Males were found to be more assertive and had slightly higher self-esteem than females. Females were higher than males in extraversion, anxiety, trust, and, especially, tender-mindedness (e.g., nurturance). There were no noteworthy sex differences in social anxiety, impulsiveness, activity, ideas (e.g., reflectiveness), locus of control, and orderliness. Gender differences in personality traits were generally constant across ages, years of data collection, educational levels, and nations.
Four meta-analyses were conducted to examine gender differences in personality in the literature (1958-1992) and in normative data for well-known personality inventories (1940-1992). Males were found to be more assertive and had slightly higher self-esteem than females. Females were higher than males in extraversion, anxiety, trust, and, especially, tender-mindedness (e.g., nurturance). There were no noteworthy sex differences in social anxiety, impulsiveness, activity, ideas (e.g., reflectiveness), locus of control, and orderliness. Gender differences in personality traits were generally constant across ages, years of data collection, educational levels, and nations.
Differences in self-concepts of 19 men and 69 women, all university students, were investigated. Nine subscales and the total self-concept of the Tennessee Self-concept Scale were analyzed by t tests and omega-squared. Women scored significantly higher on 7 of the 9 subscales and the total self-concept. Men accounted for from 9 to 16% of the variance in scores on the Identity, Self-satisfaction, Behavior, Moral-Ethical Self, Family Self subscales and the total self-concept score. Other studies with a larger sample of men are needed.
Five studies tested hypotheses derived from the sociometer model of self-esteem according to which the self-esteem system monitors others' reactions and alerts the individual to the possibility of social exclusion. Study 1 showed that the effects of events on participants' state self-esteem paralleled their assumptions about whether such events would lead others to accept or reject them. In Study 2, participants' ratings of how included they felt in a real social situation correlated highly with their self-esteem feelings. In Studies 3 and 4, social exclusion caused decreases in self-esteem when respondents were excluded from a group for personal reasons, but not when exclusion was random, but this effect was not mediated by self-presentation. Study 5 showed that trait self-esteem correlated highly with the degree to which respondents generally felt included versus excluded by other people. Overall, results provided converging evidence for the sociometer model.