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Using gender

Gender and Forgiveness: A Meta-analytic Review and Research Agenda

Andrea J. Miller, Everett L. Worthington, Michael A. McDaniel

Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 2008

Research details

Type of paper: Integrative/Synthetic Review

Sample size: 15731

Open Access: No


A meta-analysis was conducted with 53 articles reporting 70 studies that addressed gender and forgiveness. The mean d was .28 indicating that females are more forgiving than males. Potential methodological moderators were examined: (a) type of sample, (b) target of forgiveness, (c) trait, state, or familial/marital forgiveness, (d) actual versus hypothetical transgressions, (e) measurement modalities (i.e., questionnaire, experiment, or survey), (f) type of forgiveness measure, (g) published or not published, (h) validated measures versus non-validated measures, and (i) culture. No methodological variables moderated the relationship between gender and forgiveness. However, there were larger gender differences on vengeance than any other forgiveness-related measure. Other potential moderators were suggested as possibly influencing the gender difference including functional differences processing forgiveness, differences in dispositional qualities, and situational cues.