Hofstede's dimensions of national cultures termed Masculinity-Femininity (MAS) and Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI) (Hofstede, 2001) are proposed to be of relevance for understanding national-level differences in self-assessed fears. The potential predictive role of national MAS was based on the classical work of Fodor (Fodor, 1974). Following Fodor, it was predicted that masculine (or tough) societies in which clearer differentiations are made between gender roles (high MAS) would report higher national levels of fears than feminine (or soft/modest) societies in which such differentiations are made to a clearly lesser extent (low MAS). In addition, it was anticipated that nervous-stressful-emotionally-expressive nations (high UAI) would report higher national levels of fears than calm-happy and low-emotional countries (low UAI), and that countries high on both MAS and UAI would report the highest national levels of fears. A data set comprising 11 countries (N 5000) served as the basis for analyses. As anticipated, (a) high MAS predicted higher national levels of Agoraphobic fears and of Bodily Injury-Illness-Death fears; (b) higher scores on both UAI and MAS predicted higher national scores on Bodily Injury-Illness-Death fears, fears of Sexual and Aggressive Scenes, and Harmless Animals fears; (c) higher UAI predicted higher national levels of Harmless Animals, Bodily Injury-Illness-Death, and Agoraphobic fears.
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