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Men, women give to charity differently, says new research from Texas A&M faculty
Date:12/18/2008

COLLEGE STATION, Dec. 18, 2008 To whom would you rather give money: a needy person in your neighborhood or a needy person in a foreign country? According to new research by Texas A&M University marketing professor Karen Winterich and colleagues, if you're a man, you're more likely to give to the person closest to you  that is, the one in your neighborhood  if you give at all.

If you're a woman, you're more likely to give - and to give equal amounts to both groups.

Winterich, who teaches marketing at Texas A&M's Mays Business School, says she can predict charitable behavior to different groups by an individual based on just two factors: gender and moral identity. (Moral identity does not measure how moral a person actually is, but rather how important it is to that person to be caring, kind, fair, honest, etc.)

The research is forthcoming in the Journal of Consumer Research. Co-authors on the paper are Vikas Mittal at Rice University and William T. Ross at Penn State University.

The results of Winterich's studies involving American participants have implications for those in the fund-raising arena.

The study examined how people responded to a need within an "ingroup" and an "outgroup." An ingroup has an obvious connection to the potential donor, such as physical proximity or ethnicity, while the outgroup might have nothing more than humanity to relate it to the donor.

In the study, participants completed a survey to gauge their moral identity. Later, each was given five $1 bills and three options: keep the cash, give it to a Hurricane Katrina relief fund, or give it to a relief fund for victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami.

The results were very consistent. Women with higher moral identity were more likely to split their dollars evenly between the two charities. Women with lower moral identities gave more to the ingroup (Katrina victims).

Men with high moral identities gave
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Contact: Karen Winterich
kwinterich@mays.tamu.edu
979-845-5452
Texas A&M University
Source:Eurekalert

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