Academic Study Examines Gender Roles and Project Cooperation

A group of researchers from Harvard University, Emmanuel College in Boston, and the University of Quebec at Montreal have completed a study which shows that women work well together in organizations when the participants are all of the same rank. But, the study found that women find it more difficult to work cooperatively together when they have a woman as a boss. The study examined research collaborations at 50 different universities. They found that women scholars were far less likely to work on a project with a woman of a higher rank than was the case for male scholars.

BenensonJJoyce F. Benenson, a professor of psychology at Emmanuel College and the lead author of the study, stated “It could be the queen bee syndrome at play. Women want to feel that other women are their equal and don’t like being bossed around by an autocratic female.”

Professor Benenson is a graduate of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University. She is the author of Warriors and Worriers: The Survival of the Sexes (Oxford University Press, 2014).

The article, “Human Males Appear More Prepared Than Females to Resolve Conflicts with Same-sex Peers,” will be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal Human Nature.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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