Sex and gender role differences in anger: An Australian community study


Anger is a commonly experienced emotion popularly thought to differ for men and women. Studies have produced conflicting evidence for sex differences on measures of anger often due to definitional confusion, methodological limitations, the use of non-random samples and the use of student and clinical populations. Some previous studies have suggested that males and females do not differ in measures of anger and that gender role identification may be more predictive of patterns of anger experience and expression. This study aimed to investigate the influence of sex, gender role identification and sex of the target of anger on measures of state and trait anger in a community sample of the Australian population. Results supported the prediction that gender role identification rather than sex were related to anger experience, expression and control, with this finding being consistent across two situational contexts. Sex of the target of anger was found to provide a weak contextual influence on male and female expression of anger. The implications of these findings for future research and for those working with anger in clinical settings are discussed.



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