Responses to the Challenger tragedy: Subtle and significant gender differences

Mary M. Brabeck, Karen Weisgerber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Within two weeks of the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, 188 subjects rated and ranked questionnaire items, and completed open-ended questions reporting their responses to and concerns arising from the accident. Analysis of open-ended responses showed females focused more on communal, person-centered aspects of the tragedy than did males. Analysis of ratings showed females viewed person-oriented issues as more important than did males. However, males and females did not differ in rankings assigned the items nor in ratings of the importance of the technological issues. Claims about sex differences in moral orientation are discussed in light of the results of this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)639-650
Number of pages12
JournalSex Roles
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - Nov 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Responses to the Challenger tragedy: Subtle and significant gender differences'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this