UMMS Affiliation

Department of Dermatology

Publication Date


Document Type



Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication | Organizational Communication


Aggressive behavior in men is seen as decisive, forceful, ambitious, and leader-like; it is often commended and even rewarded. Aggressive behavior in women is seen as hysterical, domineering, bitchy, and certainly not rewarded. Even assertive behavior in women is misunderstood to be aggressive. Both conscious and unconscious or implicit bias are at play. Although individual men are not responsible for these inequities, we all (men included) need to work to change our culture.

Let’s agree that this double standard is unfair, and our workplaces need massive cultural change. This article is about how women can navigate through this double standard and still stand up for themselves.

Published in an issue of International Journal of Women's Dermatology on the topic of “The Gender Gap in Academic Dermatology and Dermatology Leadership: Problems and Solutions.”


aggressive, assertive, communication, gender gap

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Copyright 2019 Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of Women’s Dermatologic Society. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

DOI of Published Version



Maloney ME, Moore P. From aggressive to assertive. Int J Womens Dermatol. 2019 Nov 7;6(1):46-49. doi: 10.1016/j.ijwd.2019.09.006. PMID: 32042885; PMCID: PMC6997833. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

International journal of women's dermatology

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.