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Gender and Race Differences in Leader Behaviour Preferences in South Africa - page 6 / 35





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all these terms are seen as applying to both men and women. In masculine cultures, assertiveness is emphasized whereas in feminine cultures, modesty is emphasized.  Den Hartog et al. (1999) found that while some leadership attributes and behaviours were relevant for effective leadership in all of the 65 cultures studied, some attributes varied widely in relevance.

Culture also defines gender roles. In all cultures, biological sex is not the only factor to define being male or being female. Societal values and expectations perpetuate gender role stereotypes in a culture, and mandate males to be "masculine" and females to be “feminine” (Kilianski, 2000). Stereotypes of gender roles created by a culture govern our way of life throughout our existence. These stereotypes vary among different cultures as well as among different ethnic groups (Franklin, 1984; Landrine, 1985; Harris, 1994). Although Berry, Poortinga, Segall, and Dasen (1992) say it is plausible to assume the universality of gender stereotypes across cultures due to the different psychological characteristics of males and females historically derived from the gender division of labour in societies.

According to Williams and Best (1990, 1994; Williams, Satterwhite and Best, 1999) gender stereotypes are the psychological characteristics believed to be differentially associated with women and men in a particular cultural group. Pan-cultural gender stereotypes are the psychological characteristics differentially associated with women and men across many cultural groups. For example, women are often said to be more emotional and nurturing than men, while men are said to be more aggressive and independent than women. Their major finding was a high degree of pan-cultural similarity in the patterns of characteristics differentially associated with women and men in 25 countries studied.

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