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Sex Differences in Attachment

Sex Differences in Attachment
Elaine Scharfe
Trent University, Peterborough, ON, Canada
There is some evidence that men and women have
moderately different distributions of insecure
adult attachment styles. Generally, men may tend
to report higher avoidance and women may tend
to report higher ambivalence, but these ndings
are somewhat inconsistent and controversial.
Although controversial, there is some empirical
evidence that there may be small to moderate sex
differences in adult attachment and that these dif-
ferences may be rst evident during middle child-
hood. Despite the controversy, I would propose
that the suggestion that there may be sex differ-
ences in attachment should not be surprising. It is
well accepted that women and men tend to be
socialized differently from birth (Bem 1993)
and, as a result, men are typically less emotional
and less nurturing than women. Furthermore,
there is support that women and men may per-
ceive social interactions differently and conse-
quently behave differently in their relationships.
Despite the proposal that attachment
representations and gender roles have a joint inu-
ence on behavior of adults, sex differences in
attachment do not seem to be evident during
infancy and preschool years, and there are incon-
sistent reports of sex differences during the school
age years (see Del Giudice 2008 for summary of
this research). Furthermore, sex differences in
adulthood are not consistently reported but tend
to be evident with self-report questionnaire mea-
sures, in particular measures of Bartholomews
four-category model. It does seem clear that the
ability to detect (or not) sex differences in attach-
ment may be associated with the type of assess-
ment, the power to test for differences, and
characteristics of the sample.
Sex Differences in Attachment
Over the past 40 years, attachment researchers
have consistently reported that most individuals
in low risk or nonclinical samples, regardless of
the age of the participants or method of assess-
ment, are secure. Although there are no sex dif-
ferences in the proportion of secure and insecure
individuals, some researchers have reported sex
differences in proportions of the type of insecure
attachment. Furthermore, some researchers have
proposed that these differences may be adaptive
and predictable. For example, Del Giudice (2009)
proposed an evolutionary model that, among
other things, proposed that women develop
insecure-ambivalent attachment in conditions of
#Springer International Publishing AG 2016
T.K. Shackelford, V.A. Weekes-Shackelford (eds.), Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_3592-1
moderate stress in childhood and avoidant attach-
ment under conditions of high stress whereas men
develop insecure-avoidant attachment when they
experience stress in childhood. Interestingly, very
little attention has been paid to the effects of the
gender of the caregiver on the developing attach-
ment relationship. Mothers typically invest more
in the parent-child relationship and are usually a
childs primary caregiver. However, it is unknown
if this primary attachment is more inuential, in
particular, in situations where, for example, the
attachment relationship with the mother is differ-
ent than the attachment relationship with the
Del Giudice and colleagues have proposed that
sex differences in attachment may develop in
middle childhood (see Del Giudice and Belsky
2010) although the proposal is somewhat contro-
versial (see Thompson 2010; van IJzendoorn and
BakermansKranenburg 2010). Early work mea-
suring infant attachment using the Strange Situa-
tion tends not to mention sex differences in
attachment; however, early behavioral work con-
sistently reports that, in preschool aged children,
insecure males tend to be more aggressive
whereas insecure females tend to be more depen-
dent and compliant. These ndings are consistent
with the observed sex difference that when
stressed males tend to engage in ght or ight
behaviors, females tend to engage in tend and
There are a few studies reporting sex differ-
ences in middle and late childhood and nearly all
report a sex difference in the categorization of the
insecure children: more ambivalence in females
and more avoidance in males. These gender dif-
ferences have been reported in studies using sev-
eral different methods of assessment including
versions of the Doll Story Completion Task, The
Manchester Child Attachment Story Task, and the
Coping Strategies Questionnaire. Although some
researchers continue to insist that these sex differ-
ences are not meaningful, Del Giudice and Belsky
(2010) proposed that the life history perspective
and neurobiological developmental changes may
help to understand why middle childhood may be
an important transition with respect to the devel-
opment of sex differences in attachment.
Del Giudice (2009) proposed an integrated
evolutionary model of the development of attach-
ment, which among other things, may explain
how and why middle childhood acts as a transi-
tional stage in both the development of attachment
and reproductive strategies. He proposed that this
phase of reorganization of attachment may be due
to intrasexual competition in the peer groupand
physiological and hormonal changes associated
with adrenarche both contributing to the devel-
opment of sex differences to improve the adapta-
tion of the insecure child. Although further work
is needed to test his model, it builds upon
Bowlbys original theory, which was rmly
rooted in evolutionary thinking at the time, and
provides insights from modern evolutionary the-
ory to explain why attachment researchers may
observe sex differences in adult attachment.
Sex Difference in Adult Attachment
Early work using the AAI does not suggest sex
differences in attachment, however, as with many
studies using interview assessments; the samples
were typically small and may not have had suf-
cient statistical power to test for differences.
Bakermans-Kranenburg and van IJzendoorn
(2009) summarized the data from over 10,000
AAI interviews addressing issues of base-line pro-
portions in clinical and nonclinical samples, gen-
der distributions, as well as differences in
distributions for adolescents and individuals
from low SES samples, ethnic minorities, and
non-Western countries. Using the AAI four-
category classication of a sample of nonclinical
mothers (n=700) as their baseline, their ndings
indicated that nonclinical fathers were more likely
to be classied as dismissing. Although there
were no signicant differences with the preoccu-
pied category, despite the large number of inter-
views in both groups, the authors only had
sufcient power to test for large differences
between the proportions of individuals catego-
rized as preoccupied. Using the AAI dimensions,
which increases the power to test for differences,
Simpson et al. (2002) reported that men scored
signicantly closer to the dismissing end of the
2 Sex Differences in Attachment
activation continuum whereas women scored sig-
nicantly closer to the preoccupied end.
Although Hazan and Shaver (1987) did not
report sex differences in their original article
using the three-category measure, researchers
consistently report sex differences with
Bartholomews four-category model (see
Bartholomew and Horowitz 1991). Bartholomew
and colleagues have reported that females and
males do not tend to differ on their secure or
fearful ratings; however, females tend to score
higher than males on the preoccupied scale and
lower than males on the dismissing scale. These
sex differences are evident when using both
Bartholomews family and peer interviews as
well as both the categorical and continuous self-
report surveys. Partner- and friend-reports reveal
similar sex differences (see also Scharfe and
Bartholomew 1994). Interestingly, Schmitt
et al. (2003) analyzed the RQ data across 62 coun-
tries and reported small to moderate sex differ-
ences in dismissing attachment across most
cultures in particular, cultures characterized by
low stress and low fertility environments and
concluded that greater levels of dismissingness in
males is near universal.
The introduction of the ECR and the ECR-R
did not include a discussion of sex differences so it
is not known whether or not sex differences were
tested in the original data (see Brennan et al. 1998;
Fraley et al. 2000). Furthermore, there are few
researchers who test (or report) sex differences
in published work using the ECR or the ECR-R,
although it is not clear whether or not there are no
sex differences on the two dimensions or that the
researchers simply did not test for sex differences;
however, there are a few exceptions. For example,
in a recent meta-analysis, Del Giudice (2011)
reported a signicant but small sex difference in
that men scored higher on the avoidance dimen-
sion and lower on the anxiety dimension. Interest-
ingly, he found that these sex differences were
stronger in community samples. Del Giudice
suggested that there are consistent sex differences
in attachment; however, there are variables such
as the distribution and type of the sample, geo-
graphic region, the non-normal distribution of the
data, unreliability of the measures, and effect of
age that may confound the results.
As pointed out by some scholars (see Del
Giudice and Belsky 2010), the fact that
researchers nd sex differences with some mea-
sures, and in some samples, and not with other
measures or samples is likely meaningful and
should not be ignored. As suggested above, it is
well accepted that women and men are socialized
differently and perceive and behave differently in
their relationships and perhaps it would be pro-
ductive to examine the joint inuence of attach-
ment representations and sex role on behavior in
relationships. For example, it is well accepted that
attachment avoidance is related to a greater num-
ber of less-committed relationships for both men
and women whereas attachment anxiety is associ-
ated with dependency and possessiveness for both
men and women. Perhaps a fruitful direction for
research to help to understand the importance of
sex differences would be the examination of
those ndings in which gender boundaries are
crossed. In particular, it may be helpful to examine
the research describing relationship characteris-
tics of anxious-ambivalent men or avoidant
women. The few studies that have highlighted
these unexpected sex differences highlight the
importance of these differences in understanding
the effects of attachment representations on adult
There is some evidence that preoccupied or
ambivalent attachment for men and dismissing
or avoidant women may have a more negative
effect on their relationships and well-being. For
example, Simpson et al. (1999) reported that
highly ambivalent mens relationships
(as compared to relationships of other men and
all women) were more likely to have ended over a
4-month period suggesting that highly ambivalent
men may have less successful relationships. Fur-
thermore, Kanninen et al. (2003) reported that
preoccupied men had a heightened affected
response to traumatic events and were proposed
to be vulnerable to the emotions and distress asso-
ciated with past traumatic events suggesting that
highly ambivalent men may have more difculty
coping with difcult life events. Similarly, Bodner
et al. (2014) reported some evidence that, in early
Sex Differences in Attachment 3
adulthood, preoccupied men may experience a
signicant decline in their reports of the meaning
of life. Consistent with the suggestion that women
may develop avoidant attachment under extreme
stress, there is also some support that avoidant
women may have more difculty in their interper-
sonal relationships. For example, Mikulincer and
Florian (1999) reported some evidence that
avoidant women showed weaker attachment to
their fetus and more negative prenatal mental
health. Rholes et al. (1999) reported that more
avoidant women displayed more anger while
waiting for an anxiety provokingsituation
with their partners, and Simpson et al. (2002)
reported that more avoidant women provided
less support to their partners regardless of his
attachment. Although these studies provide some
evidence that anxious-ambivalent men and
avoidant women have more difculty in relation-
ships and coping with life events, very few studies
systematically examine the differential effects of
attachment across gender, and a more comprehen-
sive examination of this issue is needed.
In summary, although the ndings are inconsis-
tent and controversial, there is some support that,
at least in adulthood, men may tend to report
higher avoidance and women may tend to report
higher ambivalence. There are, however, inci-
dences where women report higher avoidance
and men report higher ambivalence and these
ndings might be more interesting and productive
to understand the importance of sex differences in
attachment. As researchers continue to explore
this controversial issue, it will be interesting to
pay particular attention to the effect when individ-
uals go against the norm”–what is the effect
when the insecure female or male is different
than what would be expected. I would suggest that
both the typical and the atypical sex differences
will be informative.
Attachment in Adulthood
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Individual Variations in Attachment
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Sex Differences in Attachment 5
... Attachment style is another aspect that might influence behaviors in intimate relationships of OCD patients since in this clinical population attachment insecurities can often be observed (40)(41)(42)(43). Insecure attachment, specifically anxious and avoidant, is typically associated with OCD (40)(41)(42)(43)(44)(45)(46)(47). ...
... Attachment style is another aspect that might influence behaviors in intimate relationships of OCD patients since in this clinical population attachment insecurities can often be observed (40)(41)(42)(43). Insecure attachment, specifically anxious and avoidant, is typically associated with OCD (40)(41)(42)(43)(44)(45)(46)(47). According to a recent meta-analysis, both attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance were associated with OCD (48). ...
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Sexual arousal is often impaired in patients with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). However, little is known about the factors related to this impairment: no study focused on the role of gender-based effects of attachment styles and contamination symptoms. The Dual Control Model assumes three processes driving sexual arousal: sexual excitation (SE), sexual inhibition (SI) due to threat of performance failure, and SI due to threat of performance consequences (e.g., getting contaminated with sexually transmitted diseases). In a group of OCD patients, we hypothesized that (a) women report lower SE and higher SI than men; (b) patients with insecure (both anxious and avoidant) attachment styles show lower SE and higher SI; (c) attachment styles moderate the relation between gender and sexual arousal (respectively, for women, higher attachment anxiety, and for men higher attachment avoidance were related to impaired sexual arousal (higher SE and SI) controlling for OCD severity); and (d) contamination symptoms moderate the relation between gender and sexual impairment (women with contamination symptoms show impaired sexual arousal). Seventy-two OCD patients (37.50% women) completed the Obsessive–Compulsive Inventory-Revised, Attachment Styles Questionnaire and Sexual Inhibition/Sexual Excitation Scales. In contrast with our hypotheses, women reported higher SE and lower SI due to threat of performance consequences than men. Patients with higher attachment avoidance (discomfort with intimacy) but also confidence in self and others had higher SE. Women with attachment avoidance (i.e., discomfort with intimacy) had lower SE, while women with attachment anxiety (i.e., preoccupations with relationships) had higher SI due to negative performance consequences. Women with contamination symptoms had higher SI due to performance failure but lower SI due to performance consequences. The present preliminary findings suggest that sexual arousal impairment should be evaluated during the assessment of OCD patients, and gender-based effects of attachment styles and contamination symptoms should be considered during personalized treatment planning.
... The gender differences we observed with IPC, attachment, and social support confirm some studies and contradict others, as the current literature includes inconsistent findings (Del Giudice, 2011;Fissel, 2018;Matud et al., 2003;Scharfe, 2016;Shorey et al., 2015;Smoker & March, 2017;Wolford-Clevenger et al., 2016). Some of these studies utilized different samples and/or measures, which may have contributed to our contradictory results. ...
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... In general, researchers have proposed that gender differences in an attachment style may be predictable. Studies with Czech and Slovak women showed that they develop anxiety-related attachments, while men show avoidance-related attachments (Rozvadský-Gugová & Heretik, 2011;Scharfe, 2017). However, Del Giudice (2011) named geographic region and effect of age as the variables that may confound these results. ...
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... We therefore included participant age at baseline as a covariate of interest. Because brain developmental trajectories have shown sex differences (Giedd et al., 1999;, and adult attachment has also partly shown sex differences in association with different behavioral and (psycho-)physiological measures (Scharfe, 2016), all models included sex as a covariate of no interest. Due to complexity of our design and a lack of specific hypotheses, we did not include any interactions between sex and the other variables in our statistical model. ...
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The existing literature suggests that individual differences in attachment may be associated with differential trajectories of structural brain development. In addition to maturation during infancy and childhood, developmental trajectories are characteristic of adolescence, a period marked by increasingly complex interpersonal relationships and significant neurostructural and functional plasticity. Cross-sectional studies involving adolescents and adults have reported individual differences in brain structure and function associated with attachment. It remains to be examined, however, whether attachment prospectively relates to neurostructural developmental trajectories during adolescence. In this longitudinal study, we investigated whether self-reported attachment dimensions of anxiety (AX) and avoidance (AV) could predict elements of cortical thickness (CT) and subcortical volume (SV) trajectories in 95 typically developing adolescents (12-19 years old at study baseline). Self-reported scores of AX and AV were obtained at study baseline, and neurostructural development was assessed at baseline and three timepoints over the four following years. Our results revealed normative neurodevelopmental trajectories of predominantly decreasing CT, particularly at younger ages, and patterns of both decreasing and increasing SV with ageing. Self-reported AX and AV were associated with steeper CT decreases in prefrontal cortical and cortical midline structures as well as anterior temporal cortex, particularly in participants younger at study baseline. Regarding SV, preliminary differential associations were observed between developmental trajectories and attachment dimensions. Our study suggests that interindividual differences in attachment contribute to shaping neurodevelopmental trajectories for several cortical and subcortical structures during adolescence and young adulthood.
... Sin embargo, otros autores presentan hallazgos inconsistentes y controvertidos respecto a la hipótesis de Barbaro y otros (2017) (Brase et al., 2014;Del Giudice, 2016Gabbay y Lafontaine, 2017;Kimmes et al., 2019). Por ejemplo, la revisión de literatura realizada por Scharfe (2016), describe que algunos hombres tienden a presentar mayor estilo evitativo mientras que las mujeres tienden a presentar un estilo mixto. Por otro lado, en una investigación de Del Giudice (2016) realizada en estadounidenses universitarios, no se mostraron diferencias significativas en ambos estilos. ...
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Leadership for Sustainable Change on a Macrosocial Scale - Levers for Reversing Feedback Loops of Existential Threat and Unsustainable Behavior towards Cooperation and Win-win-win-outcomes - Abstract: Over the past decades, a research gap in the field of sustainable change has been constituted that calls for an interdisciplinary approach in the face of the increasing urgency of the global ecological crisis. The thesis aims to shed light on the mechanisms and levers underlying directed social change by building a theoretical foundation and providing practical insights into five European regions with sustainable development in form of a case study. Two experimental modules for interview analysis were developed and introduced: the experimental tools Emotional Coding to assess the amount of emotional transmissions, and the Mind-mapping tool to depict the thought processes of the interviewees. The dynamics leading to unsustainability on the global stage are examined, linking ecological with social and psychological aspects and hereby generating a holistic perspective on the status quo. The need for trauma-informed leadership as a vital factor in the ability to purposefully shape society becomes apparent. The role of the hormone oxytocin in human bonding and leadership is found to be an important factor in social synchronization processes. Risks and chances connected to increased oxytocin levels are described, as well as the required capacity in leaders to create a safe holding space, in which the needs for attachment and detachment (or “safety” and “freedom”) are respected. Enabling society-encompassing discourse while refraining from social rejection was found as a prerequisite for change. Further, characteristics of successful leadership are investigated, namely a mindset with unconditional positive regard to others, the ability to welcome fearful aspects and to communicate in proactive deescalating ways in face of conflict. Results from the practical study underscored the theoretical findings and provide practical examples of ways to implement sustainable change on a regional level. The leaders of the eco-region Kaindorf were found to take a lead role in the examined regions as they connect a sustainable agenda, positive psychology, and socioeconomic benefits for locals and partners with a participatory inclusive approach. The emotional transmissions in communication were very positive and the survey’s results showed high motivation in the people. The overall results underline the connection of leaders’ mindset, communicative abilities, and success in motivating for change. The authors of the study recommend implementing trauma awareness and learning of communication strategies into the process of selecting and training leaders on political and administrative levels. They further propose establishing sustainable change by incentives that respect the here-described levers for positive human change.
... A number of studies have found that men are more likely to have avoidant attachment style, while the women in general have higher anxiety scores than men. However, in a number of studies, women showed a more pronounced avoidant style of affective attachment, while men were more anxious in relation to female respondents (Scharfe, 2017). ...
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Based on Abidin's model, we examined the contribution of three clusters of variables – parental variables (attachment orientation and self-awareness), child's temperament, and quality of the couple relationship among mothers and fathers of young children (0-7) – to perceived parental stress, as well as the moderating role of parental reflection, one of the self-awareness scales, in the association between attachment orientation and parental stress. To examine these questions, we distributed questionnaires containing a series of self-report measures to a sample of 294 Israeli parents (147 fathers and 147 mothers). We found that fathers, compared to mothers, reported more avoidant attachment, less reflection and less rumination. Young age, high education, high reflective parenting and better quality of couple relationships were associated with lower parental stress. Avoidant attachment orientation and rumination were associated with greater parental stress. As regards the child's characteristics, we found that emotional temperament was associated with greater parental stress. Our findings also show that parents' reflection skills moderated the association between avoidant attachment orientation and parental stress. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
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This research assesses the contribution of pregnant women's attachment style to their reactions to the fetus and pregnancy. In Study 1, 260 women who were at different stages of pregnancy completed measures tapping attachment style and bonding to the fetus. In Study 2, 30 women were classified according to their attachment style, and their bonding to the fetus, mental health, and ways of coping with pregnancy-related problems were followed-up during the 3 trimesters of pregnancy. Secure women were strongly attached to the fetus from the beginning of pregnancy and reported seeking support and positive mental health during the entire pregnancy. Avoidant women showed weak attachment to the fetus and negative mental health in the first and third trimesters of pregnancy, and stronger bonding and better mental health in the second trimester. They also relied on distancing coping during the entire pregnancy. Anxious-ambivalent women showed a gradual increase in bonding to fetus from trimester to trimester, but their reliance on emotion-focused coping and negative mental health remained stable throughout the entire pregnancy. Results are discussed in terms of attachment theory.
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Gender differences in the dismissing form of adult romantic attachment were investigated as part of the International Sexuality Description Project-a survey study of 17,804 people from 62 cultural regions. Contrary to research findings previously reported in Western cultures, we found that men were not significantly more dismissing than women across all cultural regions. Gender differences in dismissing romantic attachment were evident in most cultures, but were typically only small to moderate in magnitude. Looking across cultures, the degree of gender differentiation in dismissing romantic attachment was predictably associated with sociocultural indicators. Generally, these associations supported evolutionary theories of romantic attachment, with smaller gender differences evident in cultures with high-stress and high-fertility reproductive environments. Social role theories of human sexuality received less support in that more progressive sex-role ideologies and national gender equity indexes were not cross-culturally linked as expected to smaller gender differences in dismissing romantic attachment.
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The association between attachment styles and emotional responses to traumatic memories was examined among 153 Palestinian former political prisoners. Self-report tools revealing adult attachment and intensity and valence of emotional responses were applied. As hypothesized, a high intensity of cognitive appraisal and a low intensity of affective responses characterized the emotional profile of insecure-dismissing men. By contrast, the emotional profile of insecure-preoccupied men was characterized by low cognitive and high affective responses, and intensive behavioral urge to act. Secure men in turn had a moderate and balanced emotional profile involving both cognitive and affective responses. In accordance with the activation hypothesis, when exposed to a high level of torture and ill-treatment, the insecure-preoccupied men showed especially intensive affective and behavioral responses. Contrary to the hypothesis, the insecure-dismissing men showed high-intensive cognitive and low-intensive affective responses independently of the severity of the trauma exposure.
This article explores the possibility that romantic love is an attachment process--a biosocial process by which affectional bonds are formed between adult lovers, just as affectional bonds are formed earlier in life between human infants and their parents. Key components of attachment theory, developed by Bowlby, Ainsworth, and others to explain the development of affectional bonds in infancy, were translated into terms appropriate to adult romantic love. The translation centered on the three major styles of attachment in infancy--secure, avoidant, and anxious/ambivalent--and on the notion that continuity of relationship style is due in part to mental models (Bowlby's "inner working models") of self and social life. These models, and hence a person's attachment style, are seen as determined in part by childhood relationships with parents. Two questionnaire studies indicated that relative prevalence of the three attachment styles is roughly the same in adulthood as in infancy, the three kinds of adults differ predictably in the way they experience romantic love, and attachment style is related in theoretically meaningful ways to mental models of self and social relationships and to relationship experiences with parents. Implications for theories of romantic love are discussed, as are measurement problems and other issues related to future tests of the attachment perspective.
The current work examines the connection between attachment theory and meaning in life (MIL) across adulthood, by inspecting attachment style differences on two dimensions of MIL: presence of meaning (PML) and search for meaning (SML). MIL and attachment measures were collected from 992 participants of three age-groups, young adults (21–30), established adults (31–49), and older adults (50–65). Multivariate analyses demonstrated that older adults scored higher on PML, while younger adults reported more SML. In general, securely attached individuals demonstrated more PML and less SML than participants with insecure attachment styles, and individuals with a fearful attachment style displayed more SML than other attachment styles. Age interacted with attachment, as dismissive young adults displayed less SML, and gender differences were revealed in PML among established adults with regard to the preoccupied and fearful attachment styles. Finally, a three-way interaction of attachment × age × gender was found for PML, as in the established adults, both preoccupied men and fearful women reported a decline in PML, while older women with secure attachment reported higher levels of PML. While in accordance with the developing literature in the field of positive psychology, the current findings shed light on the manner by which the connections between attachment styles, age and gender are associated with the presence and the search for MIL.
This study examined how working models of attachment to parents (assessed by the Adult Attachment Interview—AAI) and romantic partners (assessed by the Adult Attachment Questionnaire—AAQ) predicted spontaneous caregiving and care seeking in a stressful situation. Dating couples were videotaped while one partner (the man) waited to do a stressful task. Observers then rated each woman’s support giving and each man’s support seeking. The AAI and the AAQ independently predicted behavioral outcomes. Women with more secure representations of their parents and whose dating partners sought more support provided more support, whereas women with more secure representations of their parents whose partners sought less support provided less. Women who reported being more avoidantly attached to romantic partners provided less support than did less avoidant women, regardless of how much support their partners sought. Attachment orientations did not predict men’s support seeking.
Why are anxious–ambivalent individuals especially likely to have turbulent and unstable relationships? To help answer this question, the authors use 3 theoretical perspectives to examine how heightened empathic accuracy in a relationship-threatening situation is associated with personal and relational distress. Dating couples inferred their partners' thoughts and feelings from a videotaped interaction which they each rated slides of opposite-sex individuals. Highly anxious–ambivalent individuals were more empathically accurate in this relationship-threatening situation; however, their self-reported thoughts and feelings indicated greater distress and less confidence in their partners and relationships. The more anxious–ambivalent women reported a slight decrease in the perceived closeness of the relationships. Four months later, more anxious–ambivalent men's relationships were more likely to have ended. These findings are discussed in terms of their theoretical and applied implications. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
In this book a leading theorist on sex and gender discusses how hidden assumptions embedded in our cultural discourses, social institutions, and individual psyches perpetuate male power and oppress women and sexual minorities. Sandra Lipsitz Bem argues that these assumptions, which she calls the lenses of gender, shape not only perceptions of social reality but also the more material things—like unequal pay and inadequate daycare—that constitute social reality itself. Her . . . examination of these hidden cultural lenses enables us to look at them rather than through them and to better understand recent debates on gender and sexuality. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)