Sex Roles

, Volume 37, Issue 11–12, pp 935–953 | Cite as

The effects of psychological gender orientations on the perceived salience of conversational constraints

  • Min-Sun Kim
  • Krystyna S. Aune


This study investigated psychological gender differences in the salience of conversational constraints. It was hypothesized that feminine self-orientations would correlate positively with concern for the hearer’s feelings and concern for avoiding negative evaluation by the hearer, and that masculine self-orientations would correlate positively with concern for clarity. Furthermore, we hypothesized that of the various gender-orientation patterns, androgynous individuals (maintaining high masculine as well as high feminine self-identity simultaneously) will have the highest importance ratings of all the constraints added together; i.e., higher than either undifferentiated (low masculine as well as low feminine self-identity simultaneously) or gender-typed individuals (either low masculine-high feminine or high masculine-low feminine). Partkipants consisted of undergraduate students from diverse ethnic backgrounds. After being presented with four conversational situations, participants rated the perceived importance of each constraint in relation to each situation. They then completed the Bem’sSex- Role Inventory to measure their psychological gender orientation. The results were mostly consistent with the hypotheses. Furthermore, the study showed that one’s psychological gender-role orientation is superior to biological sex categories in accounting for the perceived importance of conversational constraints.


Gender Orientation Conversational Style Feminine Characteristic Psychological Androgyny Psychological Gender 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Min-Sun Kim
    • 1
  • Krystyna S. Aune
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SpeechThe University of HawaiiManoa
  2. 2.The University of HawaiiManoa

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