Date of Award
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology
Kathleen Gathercoal, PhD
Previous research has suggested that individuals (men and women) who endorse more feminine characteristics according to Bem’s Sex Role Inventory (BSRI) are more prone to shame. There have been no known studies conducted to determine if this link also exists within the Evangelical Christian church. Shame, across the research literature, is linked to psychological maladjustment and is defined as a sense that one’s core self is defective and comes up short on expectations. The purpose of this study is to test the relationship between gender, gender role, and shame for men and women who are active in the Evangelical church culture. A quantitative study was conducted using a sample (N=273) of males (39.2%) and females (60.8%) from several different Evangelical church denominations. The Test of Self-Conscious Affect (TOSCA-3) and Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI) were utilized to measure the variables of femininity, masculinity, and shame. Utilizing a systematic replication of Benetti-McQuoid and Buskirk (2005) study with additional statistical analysis found results that suggested women, those who ascribe to themselves more feminine attributes and less masculine attributes, and those younger (ages 18-25) experience more shame and accounted for about 20% of the variance in shame. Meaningful interpretations, limitations, and future research ideas are included in this research addition to the understanding of gender socialization and shame within the Evangelical Christian church culture.
Hottenstein, Joy L., "Femininity, Masculinity, Gender, and the Role of Shame on Christian Men and Women in the Evangelical Church Culture" (2014). Doctor of Psychology (PsyD). 158.