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Assistant professor authors article about gender roles and fairness

3/1/2010 —

Clare Conry-Murray, assistant professor of psychology, is the author of “Adolescent and Adult Reasoning About Gender Roles and Fairness in Benin, West Africa” which appeared in the journal, Cognitive Development.

Conry-Murray’s research explored reasoning about gender roles in a traditional society in Benin, a nation in western Africa. Ninety-seven male and female adolescents and adults evaluated conflicts between a husband and a wife over gender norms to determine whether gender norms are judged to be moral or conventional. Although most attributed decision-making power to the husband, justifications and evaluations that supported challenges to traditional gender roles indicate that social roles were seen as alterable conventions. In addition, concerns with punishment of one spouse were associated with endorsing the other spouse as decision-maker, indicating that endorsements of authority may be coerced. Very few age differences were found, indicating that adults are not more enculturated into an acceptance of hierarchy than adolescents. However, adults were more likely than adolescents to perceive coercion.

Conry-Murray, who joined the Beaver campus faculty in 2008, holds a doctorate in human development and education from the University of California, Berkeley, a master’s degree in second education in urban schools: English from Boston College, and a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies in humanities from The Evergreen State College in Washington.

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