Gender as Culture: The Meanings of Self-Silencing in Women and Men

Linda Smolak

in Silencing the Self Across Cultures

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780195398090
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199776900 | DOI:
Gender as Culture: The Meanings of Self-Silencing in Women and Men

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This chapter discusses the frequently reported finding that men self-report equal or higher levels of self-silencing as compared to women. It describes the relevant research and then presents various possible explanations for this finding. These explanations include methodological issues concerning questionnaire measures and participant samples, and theoretical issues concerning the meanings of voice for men and women. The author suggests that reported similarities on self-silencing scores between women and men may mask important gender differences regarding the development and effects of voice. To illustrate these gender differences, the chapter uses the example of sexual harassment as a phenomenon that is reported at similar levels by both men and women in survey research but that also carries different meanings and consequences for women than for men.

Keywords: gender; harassment; survey research; self-silencing; sexual violence

Chapter.  8332 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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