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Cross-sex comparisons: A word of caution

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Abstract

A cross-sex difference on one variable is often hypothesized to be related to a gender difference on a second variable. However, caution should be exercised in making such comparative hypotheses. We gathered the expected and actual examination grades for 168 female and 163 male college students. As in prior research, males had higher expectancies than females (p<.05). But analysis of the intrasex regression equations indicated that the relationship of expectancies to performance was different for women than it was for men. Thus, a cross-sex difference in expectancies did not correspond to a parallel difference in grades. This finding highlights the potential hazards of making certain cross-sex comparisons, and we argue for more caution in their application.

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Author information

Correspondence to Donald H. Ryujin.

Additional information

Many thanks to Julia Pratt, Chris Toskin, Laurie Rooker, and Beth Mehne for collecting the data for this study.

Alison J. Herrold is now a graduate student in social psychology at Stanford University.

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Ryujin, D.H., Herrold, A.J. Cross-sex comparisons: A word of caution. Sex Roles 20, 713–719 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00288082

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Keywords

  • Gender Difference
  • College Student
  • Social Psychology
  • Potential Hazard
  • Male College