Young adults in the United States and Benin reason about gendered cultural traditions

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This study explored emerging and young adults’ reasoning about cultural practices in West Africa. American (Study 1, n = 78, M = 20.76 years) and Beninese (Study 2, n = 93, M = 23.61 years) undergraduates were surveyed about their evaluations of corporal punishment, scarification, and schooling restrictions in conditions where the practices had gender‐neutral or gender‐specified targets. In Study 1, the majority (69%) of American participants negatively evaluated the practices, especially when targets were female. However, the majority (73%) assumed the cultural practices were consensual. In Study 2, the majority (76%) of Beninese participants negatively evaluated the practices, and their evaluations did not vary by gender of the target. Few (10%) Beninese participants assumed the cultural practices were consensual. In both studies, emerging and young adults who initially judged practices positively changed their evaluations with a change in consent.

Social Development
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Clare Conry-Murray
Associate Professor of Psychology

My research interests include social development, including moral development, gender development and culture.