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Men and Women in Space

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Leon GR. Men and women in space. Aviat Space Environ Med 2005; 76(6, Suppl.):B84–8.

The influence of gender on the social context in which work performance takes place is considered. Women in single and mixed-gender polar expedition groups reported concern for the welfare of a teammate as a significant stressor. All-male teams exhibited higher levels of competitiveness and a lesser tendency to talk about their feelings. Excerpts from expedition debriefing interviews illustrate gender-related patterns noted in extreme environments. Application of these findings for the better selection, training, and performance of mixed-gender space crews is examined. A case study approach to conducting research on crew performance is recommended, and strategies for dealing with confidentiality are discussed.
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Keywords: expeditions; gender; long-duration space missions; psychosocial factors

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2005

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