The Influence of Gender and Culture on Grief
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We conducted a cross-sectional study to investigate the explanatory power of gender, the individual, and the cultural level of the masculinity/femininity dimension on levels of grief. We hypothesized that lower levels of grief are – from stronger to weaker -, predicted by male gender, an individual masculine orientation, and more masculine cultural values of the country one lives in. Our sample consisted of 148 individuals, from Germany, Ireland, South Africa and Turkey (age ≥ 18) that experienced a loss within the last five years. Participants were recruited via social media platforms and social support groups. 101 were women and 47 men. As hypothesized, gender explained most of the variance in grief levels, with men reporting less grief levels than women. The cultural masculinity/femininity dimension was the second strongest predictor of grief levels. Participants from more masculine cultures reported less levels of grief than feminine ones. Contradicting our hypothesis, the individual masculinity/femininity orientation did not predict levels of grief. We also found an interaction between gender and culture, where reported levels of grief between both genders differed depending on their cultural belonging. Further research on the individual femininity/masculinity dimension on grief should be conducted.
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