Role relevant sex typing and opportunity in agentic and communal domains


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    Mary Ellen O'Connor is the former M.E. Chernovetz. Address reprint requests to Dr. Robert O. Hansson, Psychology Program, University of Tulsa, 600 S. College, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74104.


The hypothesis associating psychological androgyny with greater personal adjustment has recently been contradicted in several studies in which masculine individuals, regardless of gender, generally appeared to be better adjusted than either androgynous or feminine persons. In the present research, five studies involving 363 subjects tested the hypothesis that such data may reflect a culture that values and differentially rewards agentic (masculine) characteristics and competencies in both men and women while taking communal (feminine) characteristics somewhat for granted. Subjects evaluating candidates for agentic roles preferred masculine candidates (regardless of gender). Masculine and androgynous persons were preferred for a communal role, while feminine persons were almost never chosen for either agentic or communal roles.