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The Attractiveness of Gender-Typed Traits at Different Relationship Levels: Androgynous Characteristics May Be Desirable after all

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Abstract

Previous research and theorizing have suggested a 'fundamental paradox" in that individuals appear to be predisposed, both culturally and genetically, to be attracted to traditionally gender typed members of the other sex even though pairings between gender-typed persons are less than optimal for long-term relation-ship satisfaction. Two studies were undertaken to clarify the relationship between gender-typed traits and heterosexual attraction. Male and female subjects indicated how desirable opposite-sex targets would be for a date, a one-night sexual encounter, and/or marriage. The gender-typing of the target was manipulated such that each target was perceived as androgynous, masculine, feminine, or undifferentiated. Results indicated that both sexes perceived opposite-sex androgynous targets to be more desirable for each type of relationship. Further, for both sexes, possession of feminine/expressive characteristics was more important than possession of masculine/instrumental characteristics.
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... Bem & Lenney, 1976). Zbog svega toga, takve osobe su u istraživanjima već prepoznate kao najprikladniji partneri za ljubavne veze (Green & Kenrick, 1994). ...
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... Most of the sample showed androgynous characteristics. This data is in line with the evolutionary idea that androgynous people are more flexible to environmental tasks and that acquiring androgynous roles could be an adaptive pattern developed after evolutive pressures (Green and Kenrick, 1994;Woodhill and Samuels, 2004;Cobb et al., 2009). Heterosexual women, but not lesbian women, showed a pattern of high social pressure to conform to feminine expectations together with lower scores in the IRQ. ...
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... Kirchmeyer (1996) studied group decision making and found the groups with high levels of androgyny made higher quality decisions than groups with low levels of androgyny. In a study on attractiveness in heterosexual relationships, opposite-sex androgynous individuals were perceived as more desirable (Green & Kendrick, 1994). Secure attachment style has been shown to be positively related to androgyny (Shaver et al., 1996). ...
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If femininity and masculinity are understood as consisting of both positive and negative traits and androgyny is a combination of feminine and masculine traits, then logically androgynous people could manifest any number and combination of positive and negative traits. The traditional notion of androgyny is as an identity that consists of a balance of positive feminine and positive masculine traits. A balance of negative feminine and negative masculine traits could also constitute a part of androgyny, creating the possibility of an undesirable or negative androgyny.
... In particular, the most desirable spouses, those who are most likely to have contented, satisfied partners, are people who are both instrumental and expressive (Marshall, 2010). And in fact, when they're given a choice, most people say that they would prefer androgynous dating partners or spouses to those who are merely masculine or feminine (Green & Kenrick, 1994). ...
Conference Paper
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... Taken to a logical extreme, this hypothesis could imply a coevolutionary relationship between women with male-typical features and preferences and men with female-typical features and preferences, maintained by frequency-dependent selection for complementary, sex-atypical pairings. This novel hypothesis has several challenges, first among them that there is no evidence of complementarity in sex-atypical or androgynous heterosexual relationships (see Green and Kenrick 1994;Lippa 2007). ...
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