Agency and communion: Their implications for gender stereotypes and gender identities

Sczesny, Sabine; Nater, Christa; Eagly, Alice H. (2019). Agency and communion: Their implications for gender stereotypes and gender identities. In: Abele, Andrea E.; Wojciszke, Bogdan (eds.) Agency and Communion in Social Psychology. Current Issues in Social Psychology (pp. 103-116). Routledge

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Sczesny, Nater, and Eagly show that agency and communion are essential to understanding the psychology of gender. Gender stereotypes, in their descriptive and prescriptive forms, follow from a societal division of labor whereby women tend to be concentrated in communally demanding roles and men in agentically demanding roles. People’s inferences of communal and agentic traits underlying the typical role behaviors of women and men yield gender stereotypes. These stereotypes in turn can enhance or compromise the ability of women and men to occupy and succeed in social roles that demand agentic or communal qualities. To the extent that people internalize stereotypes pertaining to their gender, they gain gender identities by which women regard themselves as especially communal and men as especially agentic. In addition, these identities and related personal goals regulate the attraction of each sex to social roles that afford opportunities to meet communal or agentic goals.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Social Neuroscience and Social Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Sczesny, Sabine, Nater, Christa


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology




Current Issues in Social Psychology






Christa Nater

Date Deposited:

20 Aug 2018 16:29

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:17




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