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Stresses of COVID-19 and Expectations for the Future Among Women: A Cross Cultural Analysis According to the Femininity/Masculinity Dimension

Posted on 2023-01-08 - 05:06

The COVID-19 pandemic created stressors and uncertainty, particularly for women. This international study explored whether the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women’s stressful experiences and future expectations is associated with Hofstede’s cultural dimension of femininity/masculinity, which refers to the cultural constructions of gender role differences. In total, 1218 women from 15 countries varying in cultural femininity/masculinity provided narrative data by answering open-ended questions via an online survey. Data were analysed using mixed methods, starting with thematic content analysis followed by logistic regression analyses. The findings from the regression analysis indicate that many stresses and expectations that were mentioned in the narratives were unrelated to the cultural femininity/masculinity. However, women from masculine cultures more often expressed disorientation, while women from feminine cultures more often wrote about negative emotions. Additionally, women from masculine cultures had more future expectations regarding daily activities, while women from feminine cultures had more expectations regarding social activities, work and economic revival, and universal social issues. The pandemic seems to confront women in both types of culture with similar challenges. The differences between women from feminine versus masculine cultures indicate that increased societal participation and responsibilities of women in feminine cultures was associated with negative affect during the pandemic, but they also propelled plentiful expectations for the future “after COVID-19”.

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