Heroism consists of actions undertaken to help others, despite the possibility that they may result in the helper's death or injury. The authors examine heroism by women and men in 2 extremely dangerous settings: the emergency situations in which Carnegie medalists rescued others and the holocaust in which some non-Jews risked their lives to rescue Jews. The authors also consider 3 risky but less dangerous prosocial actions: living kidney donations, volunteering for the Peace Corps, and volunteering for Doctors of the World. Although the Carnegie medalists were disproportionately men, the other actions yielded representations of women that were at least equal to and in most cases higher than those of men. These findings have important implications for the psychology of heroism and of gender.
ASJC Scopus subject areas