The Heroism of Women and Men

Selwyn W. Becker*, Alice H. Eagly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

132 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-178
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Psychologist
Volume59
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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