Testing the GRIP: An Empirical Examination of the Gender Roles Inhibiting Prosociality Model

Ciara Atkinson, Hannah Buie, Gillian Sandstrom, Lara Aknin, Alyssa Croft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Although men and women help others, there are systematic gender differences in the type of helping they perform. Consistent with traditional gender roles and stereotypes, men typically help in agentic ways, and women typically help in communal ways. Drawing on the Theory of Planned Behavior, the Gender Roles Inhibiting Prosociality model predicts that gender stereotypes about gender-inconsistent helping create negative attitudes, restrictive subjective norms, and low self-efficacy that undermine helping intentions, which, in turn, reduce engagement in gender-inconsistent helping contexts. Across three studies (N = 1,355), we find empirical support for the hypothesized model: When asked to imagine engaging in a gender-inconsistent (vs. gender-consistent) helping scenario, participants anticipated feeling worse, expected others to judge them more negatively, and reported decreased self-efficacy beliefs, and these factors predicted lower intentions to engage in gender-inconsistent helping. Critically, behavioral intentions explained some of the variance in gender-inconsistent helping during the following month. Internal meta-analyses of the differences between gender-consistent and -inconsistent helping on attitudes, subjective norms, self-efficacy, and behavioral intentions across studies revealed small-to-medium average effect sizes (ds = 0.16—0.47). These results have the potential to inform interventions aimed at increasing helping in all its forms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)440-462
Number of pages23
JournalSex Roles
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Gender
  • Gender roles
  • Helping
  • Prosocial behavior
  • Stereotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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