Positive direct contact between males and females in the sandf and the reduction of gender bias: the importance of self-disclosure, empathy and perspective taking.

Goosen, Jeslyn C. (2019-04)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The role of women in the military has dramatically expanded over the past twenty years (Matthews Edner, Laurence, & Rohall, 2009), and women are now enjoying greater representation in combat units. However, this greater representation is challenged by prevalent gender bias against women in the military, especially in patriarchal societies such as South Africa. This has a negative effect on the relations between male and female members in the military. The far reaching positive effects of intergroup contact and its prejudice reducing function in an array of intergroup interactions, more specifically cross-group friendships, have already been shown over the past sixty years (Allport, 1954; Hewstone & Swart, 2011; Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006, 2008). The present cross-sectional survey study aimed to investigate the effects of positive direct contact, specifically cross-group friendship, between male and female members of the SANDF on gender bias toward women in the military in general. Data from 223 male members of the SANDF stationed at Tempe Military Base, Bloemfontein, South Africa, were analysed using latent variable structural equation modelling (SEM). The results showed that the quantity and quality of interpersonal contact with a particular female member (closest female friend) in the military was significantly positively associated with more positive affect towards the particular female member (a relationship significantly mediated by reciprocal positive and negative self-disclosure). Affect towards the particular female friend was significantly positively associated with more affective empathy and perspective-taking towards females in the military in general, more positive attitudes towards females in the military in general, and reduced gender bias against females in the military in general. The results of the present study offer insights for interventions and programmes that could be employed within the SANDF to improve relations between male and female members of the SANDF, and to reduce gender bias against females in the military.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die rol van vroue in die weermag het die afgelope twintig jaar dramaties uitgebrei (Matthews et al., 2009) en vroue geniet nou groter verteenwoordiging in gevegseenhede. Hierdie groter verteenwoordiging word egter uitgedaag deur algemene geslagsvooroordeel teenoor vroue in die weermag, veral in patriargale samelewings soos Suid-Afrika. Dit het 'n negatiewe invloed op die verhouding tussen manlike en vroulike lede in die weermag. Die verreikende positiewe effekte van intergroepkontak en die vooroordeelverminderingsfunksie van 'n verskeidenheid intergroepinteraksies, meer spesifiek kruisgroepvriendskappe, is reeds oor die afgelope sestig jaar getoon (Allport, 1954; Hewstone & Swart, 2011; Pettigrew & Tropp , 2006, 2008). Die huidige deursnitstudie het ten doel gehad om die effekte van positiewe direkte kontak, spesifiek kruisgroepvriendskap, tussen manlike en vroulike lede van die SANW te ondersoek op geslagsvooroordeel teenoor vroue in die weermag in die algemeen. Data van 223 manlike lede van die SANW gestasioneer by Tempe Militêre Basis, Bloemfontein, Suid-Afrika, is ontleed met behulp van latente veranderlike strukturele vergelyking modellering (SVM). Die resultate het getoon dat die hoeveelheid en kwaliteit van interpersoonlike kontak met 'n spesifieke vroulike lid (naaste vroulike vriend) in die weermag aansienlik positief geassosieer is met meer positiewe invloed op die spesifieke vroulike lid ('n verhouding wat beduidend bemiddel word deur wederkerige positiewe en negatiewe self-openbaarmaking). Gevoelens teenoor die spesifieke vroulike vriend was aansienlik positief geassosieer met meer affektiewe empatie en perspektief teenoor vroue in die weermag in die algemeen, meer positiewe houdings teenoor vroue in die weermag in die algemeen, en verminderde geslagsvooroordeel teenoor vroue in die weermag in die algemeen. Die resultate van die huidige studie bied insigte vir intervensies en programme wat binne die SANW aangewend kan word om die verhouding tussen manlike en vroulike lede van die SANW te verbeter en om geslagsvooroordeel teen vroue in die weermag te verminder.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/106239
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