Gendered help: Effects of gender and realm of achievement on autonomy-versus dependency-oriented help giving

Lily Chernyak-Hai, Samer Halabi, Arie Nadler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Building on research on helping relations and gender stereotypes, the present research explored the effects of gender-stereotypical perceptions on willingness to offer dependency- and autonomy-oriented help to women and men. Two studies were conducted in a 2 (Gender of the person in need) × 2 (Domain of achievement) between-participants design. Study 1 examined future success expectations of male versus female students needing help in performing either a stereotypically masculine or a stereotypically feminine academic task, and the kind of help participants preferred to offer them. Study 2 further explored perceptions of male versus female students who exhibited long-term failure in a gender-stereotypical versus non-stereotypical academic task, perceptions of their intellectual and social abilities, feelings toward them, attributions of their need, and the preferred way of helping. Our findings indicate that women failing in a stereotypically masculine domain may expect others to give them dependency- rather than autonomy-oriented help, and judge their traits and abilities in an unflattering manner. In other words, gender achievement stereotypes create a social context where helping interactions reproduce power and status discrepancies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-141
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Social and Political Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017


  • Achievement domain
  • Autonomy/dependency-oriented help
  • Gender stereotypes
  • Power relations


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