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SPSSI - EASP Joint Conference for 2015

Times are a-Changing but Men's Roles are Slow to Change:
Developing a Research Agenda on the
Under-representation of Men in Communal Roles

Leuven, Belgium
November 5-7, 2015

Over the past two decades, research has investigated the problem of gender inequality by examining factors that prevent women from entering and excelling in traditionally masculine domains. But as women's interest and inclusion in more agentic roles has been increasing over time, men's interest in communal roles and identification with communal traits has remained relatively more static (Twenge, Campbell, & Gentile, 2012; Twenge, 1997, 2009; England, 2010; 2011). Although the under-representation of women in science and leadership has generated a rich body of research, psychological research has been slower to systematically focus on the under-representation of men in communal roles and careers such as nursing and teaching, and as caregiver to their own children.

This small group conference aims to create a forum for developing emerging research on men in counter-stereotypic and communal roles. By bringing together a diverse group of scholars with interest in the topic we aim to invigorate scientific collaborations and boost research on this far-reaching social issue. The ultimate goal is not only to share diverse scholarly perspectives on the issue but also lay the groundwork for grant proposals promoting more focused laboratory and cross-national work on the topic of the asymmetry of changing gender roles. As part of the meeting, funding experts will be present to discuss funding possibilities as part of Horizon 2020 - the biggest EU Research and Innovation Grant program tackling societal challenges.

The meeting will take place November 5-7 2015 in the historic city of Leuven in Belgium, home to the University of Leuven since 1425. We are hoping to create a gender-balanced and diverse conference with senior, junior, and graduate student participants.

Toni Schmader ( and Colette van Laar (

The cost of registration and attendance will be offset by funding support provided by SPSSI, EASP, and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.