SEX ROLE CONSIDERATIONS AND BEHAVIORAL MARITAL THERAPY: EQUAL DOES NOT MEAN IDENTICAL

Authors


  • *An abbreviated version of this paper was presented at the American Psychological Association Convention in Los Angeles, August, 1981. Preparation of this paper was partially supported by NIMH Grant 1R01 MH32616.

Abstract

Despite the egalitarian position espoused in behavioral marital therapy, little attention has been paid to sex role issues and female-male differences. This paper explores advantages and disadvantages of behavioral marital therapy vis à vis the treatment of women and men. Features of behavioral marital therapy implicated as important in the consideration of sex role issues include underlying assumptions of egalitarianism, assumptions of external causality, and orientation toward action, as well as specific procedures such as goal setting, behavioral exchange and training in communication and problem-solving skills. Each of these features is evaluated with respect to clinical considerations as well as to research findings on female-male differences in marriage. The paper concludes with recommendations as to how behavioral marital therapy could become more sensitive to sex role issues.

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