Patrice E. Heller, PhD., Rabbi, is a staff therapist at PENN Council for Relationships, Philadelphia, maintains a priavate psychotherapy practice, and serves as an independent rabbi in the greater Philadelphia area.
THE PROCESS OF INTIMACY: SIMILARITY, UNDERSTANDING AND GENDER
Version of Record online: 8 JUN 2007
Journal of Marital and Family Therapy
Volume 24, Issue 3, pages 273–288, July 1998
How to Cite
Heller, P. E. and Wood, B. (1998), THE PROCESS OF INTIMACY: SIMILARITY, UNDERSTANDING AND GENDER. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 24: 273–288. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.1998.tb01085.x
Reprint requests to Patrice Heller, PhD, 308, E. Ormandy Place, Ambler, PA 19002-2723.
The authors would like to thank Hollis Scarborough for her advice on the statistical analyses of the data. The authors extend special appreciation and thanks to each couple who participated in this study.
- Issue online: 8 JUN 2007
- Version of Record online: 8 JUN 2007
This study examined gender and three aspects of marital intimacy using a method to establish both objective and subjective indices of intimacy. Fifty couples answered the Personal Assessment of Intimate Relationships (Schaefer & Olson, 1981) twice: once as a self-report and once to respond as they predicted their spouses would answer. Couples who were less accurate in predicting each other's responses also diverged in their experience of intimacy and reported lower intimacy. Results suggest that high intimacy is based on both understanding and similarity of intimate experience. Women reported significantly higher levels of intimacy and were also better than men in predicting their partners' feelings. These findings suggest that women may be more attuned to intimacy or that definitions and assessment of intimacy are gender biased or both.