Adherence to gender roles as a predictor of compassion and self-compassion in women and men.
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Tatum, Kelsie J.
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Previous research has demonstrated consistent differences between men and women in self-reported compassion, but has yielded inconsistent results regarding sex differences in reported capacities for self-compassion. The current project sought to address these equivocal results by examining the relationships among compassion, self-compassion, and identification with traditional gender roles. Participants (N = 444) were recruited from a university subject pool and an online survey administration program and were administered the Compassionate Love scale (Sprecher & Fehr, 2005), the Compassion Scale (Pommier, 2010), the Self-Compassion Scale (Neff, 2003a), and the Personal Attributes Questionnaire (Spence, Helmreich, & Stapp, 1974). Overall, results indicated that gender, as opposed to sex differences, accounted for a greater proportion of variance in participants’ reported levels of self-compassion. However, inconsistent with initial hypotheses, data suggested that women’s and men’s adherence to traditional gender roles was associated with higher, rather than lower, self-compassion scores. The implications of these results and directions of future study are discussed.