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Gender Differences in Emotions, Forgiveness and Tolerance in Relation to Political Violence

  • Susana Conejero (a1), Itziar Etxebarria (a1) and Ignacio Montero (a2)

Abstract

This study, which forms part of a broader research project, analyzes gender differences in: the intensity of diverse emotions, the justification of violence, attitudes towards the terrorist group ETA, forgiveness and tolerance. Participants comprised 728 people (45.5% men and 54.5% women) resident in either Basque Country or Navarra (Spain), representative of all national identities and political ideologies existing in this context. An ad hoc questionnaire was designed and administered between November 2005 and February 2006, a short time before ETA declared a ceasefire. Women reported more intensity in fear for political reasons and scored higher in two of the six measures of empathy included in the study (empathy with prisoners and empathy with those who suffer and think like oneself). Men scored higher in positive emotionality, indifference and Schadenfreude. Women perceived apology and forgiveness as more necessary elements for achieving peace than men. These results suggest that it may be beneficial for women to play a more prominent role in relation to the resolution of intergroup conflicts such as the one existing in the Basque Country.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Susana Conejero. Departamento de Procesos Psicológicos Básicos y su Desarrollo. Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea. San Sebastián (Spain). E-mail: susana.conejero@ehu.es

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