Gender differences in self-rated emotional expressiveness

Research paper by Michael J. Blier, Linda A. Blier-Wilson

Indexed on: 01 Aug '89Published on: 01 Aug '89Published in: Sex roles


The purpose of this investigation was to assess gender differences in the expression of different feelings as well as to examine the relationship between each gender's confidence in expressing different feelings and the target person's gender. The subjects, 100 male and 125 female psychology students at a community college, self-rated their confidence in expressing emotions by completing the Efficacy and Consequence Expectations for Social Skills (ECESS). Multivariate analyses and then univariate and post hoc analyses were performed. Findings indicated a significant interaction between subject gender and target person gender for confidence in expressing anger and love/liking/affection. Males reported lower confidence in expressing anger to females than did female subjects, and males were more confident expressing anger to men than to women. Females reported significantly higher confidence in expressing liking/love/affection to males than did male subjects. Female subjects were significantly more confident in expressing fear and sadness than male subjects regardless of the target person's gender. However, females did not report significantly more confidence in expressing loneliness than males with either target gender.