The Grapefruit Race: Demonstrating the Influence of Competition on Gender Differences in Intimacy

Mikki R. Hebl, Eden B. King, Julie McGuire, Melissa Turchin
2008 Teaching of psychology  
We present an interactive demonstration of factors that mitigate gender differences. Male and female volunteers pass a grapefruit from one classmate to the next using only their chins. The speed of task completion depends on its framing; when the volunteers believe the task is an exercise, women tend to be faster than men, whereas the opposite effect emerges when the task is framed as a competition. Student observers rated the demonstration positively and indicated positive learning outcomes
more » ... arding the context-dependent nature of gender differences in comfort with same-sex intimacy. This article offers an effective demonstration of gender differences in intimate behavior and illustrates a situation in which gender differences can be malleable.
doi:10.1080/00986280701818474 fatcat:7ohkf3jbpnajzkoncuzj4ci33m