Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal

Male Gender Role Beliefs, Coupon Use and Bargain Hunting

Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal

Male Gender Role Beliefs, Coupon Use and Bargain Hunting

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

The basic question addressed in this study is whether men today hold more gender neutral beliefs regarding traditionally female role behaviors such as purchasing groceries and clothing, clipping and saving coupons, and finding bargains. A sample of 326 men across age and education levels was surveyed regarding their beliefs as to whether each of twelve behaviors is more appropriate for males or females. The influence of experience as the primary grocery shopper for the household, age, education, and parental coupon use on gender role beliefs was included. A strong relationship between a man's experience as the primary grocery shopper for the household and his belief that a variety of consumer behaviors are gender neutral was found. A higher education level was also found to have a significant impact on egalitarian beliefs, as was the father's use of coupons.

INTRODUCTION

Men are becoming more active in the marketplace. In 1995, Dholakia, Pedersen and Hikmet reported 10% of men were the primary grocery shopper for their household and over 50% bought their own clothes. As of 2003, Harmon and Hill found 36% of men were the primary grocery shopper for the household, with over 75% active shoppers in discount and department stores. In 2004, according to the Promotion Marketing Association Coupon Council (2005), 76% of the overall U.S. population used coupons, including 84% of females and 68% of males. NCH/Nu World Marketing (1999) also found 24% of men used coupons every time they shopped and 57% used coupons to plan shopping trips. Male shopping behavior is in a state of change. The question addressed in this study is whether men today hold more gender-neutral beliefs about the appropriateness of men as shoppers and whether such beliefs are associated with more bargain-oriented purchase behavior.

Demographics are Insufficient to Understand Male Bargain Shopping

All but a few studies of bargain-related shopping behavior have been based on the assumption that women are the primary shoppers for the household and have, therefore, only included women, usually a wife and mother. In studying coupon use, demographics have been a primary area of focus. Demographic studies have typically included household size and the wife's education, working status and age. In general, demographic studies (Bawa and Shoemaker, 1987; Cronovich et al., 1997; Gonzales, 1988; Levendahl, 1988; Mittal, 1994) have found both the income and education of the woman positively related to coupon use. [Coupons are generally understood to be paper offers that proffer a reduction in price for a product or service (Dotson and Hyatt, 2000).]

Safilios-Rothschild (1969) criticized the study of various aspects of family life based primarily on information provided by wives, as have Gentry et al. (2003), stating with the male's role changing in the household there is a greater need for investigating any associated behaviors and attitudes. A literature search uncovered two studies (Dotson and Hyatt, 2000; Harmon and Hill, 2003) comparing the coupon use of men and women. Not surprisingly, both studies found women continued to use coupons at a greater rate than men. Dotson and Hyatt did not find differences in responsiveness to other sales promotion tools. Harmon and Hill found older women with higher incomes more likely to use coupons, but found these two variables had no effect on male coupon use.

Many researchers (Bagozzi et al., 1992; Mittal, 1994; Shimp and Kavas, 1984) reiterate the insufficiency of the demographic line of inquiry into coupon use and support the notion that psychological studies of shopping behavior and coupon use are needed. However, to date, neither psychological variables nor the age or gender demographics have been related to any motives underpinning bargain-hunting and coupon use. Investigating whether different motives for bargain-related activities exist between men and women seems warranted if men are, indeed, becoming a more potent force in the marketplace. …

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