Sex differences in recipients' reactions to aid

Pamela Balls, Nancy Eisenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine whether males and females differentially respond to the receipt of aid as a function of their similarity to the donor and their own chronic level of self-esteem. Female and male adults received either help from a fictitious partner or no aid. All subjects were given information that they had been paired with a partner who had an inferior, similar, or superior level of task-relevant experience. Females paired with a partner of equal experience reported greater decrements in situational self-esteem than did males. Furthermore, females who received help reported a higher level of satisfaction with the help, and in all but one of the similarity conditions, females expressed a greater need for help than did males. When self-esteem was considered, high self-esteem females paired with persons with similar experience exhibited greater decrements in mood than did other high self-esteem females; males did not differ across conditions. Implications of the obtained sex differences were discussed in relation to sex differences in help-seeking behavior and sex role stereotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-79
Number of pages11
JournalSex Roles
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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