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Gender roles, biological sex, and predisposition to conflict management

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The Bem Sex-Role Inventory and the Communication-Conflict Instrument were administered to 182 husbands and wives. Results suggest that gender-role classification is a more significant discriminator of communication behavior than is biological sex. Androgynous spouses, more than feminine though not significantly more so than masculine spouses, reported themselves to be the most disposed to handle conflict constructively. On the subscales of the conflict instrument, androgynous persons had significantly more positive feelings scores than either masculine or feminine persons, plus higher task energy and desire-for-control scores than feminine persons. Similarly, masculine persons reported a significantly greater predisposition to manage conflict constructively than did feminine persons, having higher task energy and desire-for-control scores. Undifferentiated persons reported the lowest scores for conflict management.

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Yelsma, P., Brown, C.T. Gender roles, biological sex, and predisposition to conflict management. Sex Roles 12, 731–747 (1985).

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  • Social Psychology
  • Lower Score
  • Gender Role
  • Great Predisposition
  • Positive Feeling