Masculinity-femininity as a national characteristic and its relationship with national agoraphobic fear levels: Fodor's sex role hypothesis revitalized

W. A. Arrindell, Martin Eisemann, Jörg O. Richter, Tian P.S. Oei, Vicente E. Caballo, Jan Van der Ende, Ezio Sanavio, Nuri Bagés, Lya Feldman, B. árbara Torres, Claudio Sica, Saburo Iwawaki, Chryse Hatzichristou, G. Aguilar, R. Bentall, K. R. Bridges, A. Buchanan, M. G. Calvo, G. Canalda, J. CastroR. Crozier, M. Davis, R. J. Edelmann, R. J. Farrer, W. Frindte, A. Furnham, T. Gärling, P. Gaszner, R. Gillholm, M. Gustafsson, S. B. Hansson, P. Harris, B. L. Hudson, M. Johnston, J. Kállai, E. Kasielke, J. Kenardy, C. C. Leong, A. Liddell, I. Montgomery, D. L. Palenzuela, D. Pennington, M. Peter, M. J. Pickersgill, L. A. Recinos, J. C. Richards, O. Rydén, M. A. Simón, M. Surman, F. Zaldívar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Hofstede's dimension of national culture termed Masculinity-Femininity [Hofstede (1991). Cultures and organizations: software of the mind. London: McGraw-Hill] is proposed to be of relevance for understanding national-level differences in self-assessed agoraphobic fears. This prediction is based on the classical work of Fodor [Fodor (1974). In: V. Franks & V. Burtle (Eds.), Women in therapy: new psychotherapies for a changing society. New York: Brunner/Mazel]. A unique data set comprising 11 countries (total N=5491 students) provided the opportunity of scrutinizing this issue. It was hypothesized and found that national Masculinity (the degree to which cultures delineate sex roles, with masculine or tough societies making clearer differentiations between the sexes than feminine or modest societies do) would correlate positively with national agoraphobic fear levels (as assessed with the Fear Survey Schedule - III). Following the correction for sex and age differences across national samples, a significant and large effect-sized national-level (ecological) r=+0.67 (P=0.01) was found. A highly feminine society such as Sweden had the lowest, whereas the champion among the masculine societies, Japan, had the highest national Agoraphobic fear score.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)795-807
Number of pages13
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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