Client Gender and Sex Role: Predictors of Counselors' Impressions and Expectations

Authors

  • Lorna Simon,

    Doctoral Candidate, Corresponding author
    1. Department of Counseling Psychology at the University at Albany, State University of New York
    • Department of Counseling Psychology, ED 220, University at Albany, State University of New York, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12222

    Search for more papers by this author
  • Robin Gaul,

    Doctoral Candidate
    1. Department of Counseling Psychology at the University at Albany, State University of New York
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Myrna L. Friedlander,

    Associate Professor
    1. Department of Counseling Psychology at the University at Albany, State University of New York
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Laurie Heatherington

    Associate Professor
    1. Department of Psychology at Williams College, Williamstown, MA
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Researchers of this study questioned: Are clients (male or female) with self-reported “masculine” versus “feminine” role orientations viewed more favorably by counselors? Which is more predictive of the counselor's impressions: the client's gender or his or her sex role orientation? Results suggested that highly masculine and highly feminine clients (regardless of gender) are perceived as more socially skilled and likely to experience a positive therapeutic outcome. Gender did not uniquely predict counselors' impressions. Highly feminine women clients, however, were viewed as more socially skilled than were highly feminine men. On average, clients were viewed as friendly and submissive.

Ancillary