رابطه بین ویژگی های نقش جنسیتی مطلوب و نامطلوب و پیامدهای آن برای سلامت روانی در فرهنگ چینی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|36077||2015||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||4590 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 44, Issue 7, May 2008, Pages 1517–1527
This study examined the relationship between socially desirable and undesirable components of masculinity and femininity, and their effects on psychological well-being among 366 Chinese university students. Results indicated that the undesirable traits of one gender were negatively correlated with the desirable traits of the opposite gender. Desirable masculinity predicted psychological well-being consistently across well-being indices, but undesirable masculinity predicted low acceptance of others only. While desirable femininity predicted self-esteem and low trait anxiety moderately, undesirable femininity strongly predicted low well-being on all indices except acceptance of others.
Each society has sets of personality traits, attitudes, preferences, and behaviors considered appropriate for males and females. Boys and girls acquire these sex-associated constellations of characteristics and form their gender roles through socialization. The male gender traits, or masculinity are often described as instrumental or agentic traits and female gender traits, or femininity are often characterized by expressiveness or communion (Bakan, 1966 and Spence and Helmreich, 1978). Gender role is also a culture-bound structure defined and identified by people in different ways according to the cultural framework in which it occurs (Eagly, Wood, & Diekman, 2000). Although the structure of gender role traits and their psychological implications have received considerable attentions in Western countries, there is little research regarding the nature of masculinity and femininity, and their impacts on people’s psychological adjustment in Chinese society, despite the large Chinese population and the specific Chinese culture. The structure of gender role as a multi-dimensional model was first defined by Bem (1974), in which masculinity and femininity was conceptualized as discriminable dimensions. She proposed that one can have both male and female characteristics referred to as androgyny, and that androgyny individuals have greater psychological well-being than those characterized by one dominant gender trait. However, research based on Bem’s model often had inconsistent findings about the relationships between gender traits and psychological functioning. For example, femininity was found to be unrelated to mental health in a meta-analytic review (Bassoff & Glass, 1982), while Whitley (1983) reported a positive relationship between femininity and adjustment. These equivocal findings might be due to the fact that Bem’s theory only focused on socially desirable gender traits, as argued by McCreary (1990), and studies based on this model often failed to address the effect of socially undesirable gender traits on psychological well-being. Having recognized this limitation, Spence, Helmreich, and Holahan (1979) proposed that gender role should consist of not only the desirable gender role traits (e.g., ambitious – desirable masculinity; expressive – desirable femininity), but also the undesirable characteristics for each sex, such as aggressiveness and selfishness (undesirable masculinity), or submission and shyness (undesirable femininity). Masculinity and femininity are essentially two fundamental dimensions of human existence: agency and communion (Bakan, 1966). Agency (masculinity) refers to the desires of self-affirmation and individualization, which focus on self; while communion (femininity) describes the motivation to merge oneself into a large social group, which involves building relationships with others. According to Bakan (1966), agentic orientation (masculine traits) must be mitigated by communion (feminine traits); otherwise it (unmitigated masculinity) will affect people’s well-being adversely. Spence et al. (1979) further postulated that femininity (communion) must be mitigated by masculine traits (agency) as well; if not, an overwhelming sense of femininity (unmitigated femininity) will have unfavorable influences on an individual’s psychological health. Helgeson (1994) later theorized that masculinity and femininity are “largely independent constructs but that when one is extremely high, the other is precluded (i.e., the extremely self-focused person loses any sense of other focus, and the extremely other-focused person loses any sense of self-focus)” (p. 416). Undesirable masculinity involves a focus on self to the exclusion of others, and undesirable femininity involves a focus on others to the exclusion of the self. The extreme form of either masculinity or femininity (undesirable traits) qualitatively differs from the non-extreme version (desirable traits). Thus, undesirable masculinity shall be negatively correlated with desirable femininity; undesirable femininity shall be negatively correlated with desirable masculinity, and the undesirable components of masculinity and femininity shall be uncorrelated with their desirable counterparts. Helgeson (1994) also proposed that a balance of agency and communion (desirable forms of gender role traits) is required for optimal health; while undesirable masculinity and femininity have negative health effects (Helgeson, 1994). Based on Helgeson’s (1994) model, researchers began to increasingly investigate the effects of undesirable gender role traits on people’s well-being and have overall found that undesirable gender traits do predict individual behavior across different domains, such as alcohol abuse, and might be an even better predictor than the desirable traits in these circumstances (e.g. McCreary and Korabik, 1994 and Ricciardelli and Williams, 1995). Gender role is culturally defined (Brannon, 2005). Cross-cultural investigations of gender role development have shown that despite similarities in many facets of gender roles, some cultures do hold different perspectives of what characteristics males or females should exhibit (Gibbons, Hamby, & Dennis, 1997). Some traits that differentiate men and women in America, such as independence and assertiveness, are unrelated to gender in Japan (Sugihara & Katsurada, 2002). Although the role of culture in the formation of gender role and its links to personal adjustment has been emphasized (e.g. Brannon, 2005), the construct of gender role and its psychological implication for well-being have not yet been examined for their cross-cultural validity in Chinese society. Chinese culture has its particular characteristics that may affect not only the conceptualization of masculinity and femininity but also the social values attached to different gender role traits. For example, Chinese culture highly emphasizes the interrelatedness of a person and society; one’s relationships and group membership largely influence an individual’s self-definition regardless of his or her sex (Wong, Tinsley, Law, & Mobley, 2003). The obligations to others and responsiveness to the needs of others are highly valued for both sexes in Chinese culture (Chang & Holt, 1994). This is quite different from Western culture where people establish their self-concept mainly based on one’s distinguishing characteristics from others, and where the development and maintenance of connection with others are considered as a fundamental task typically for females. So, it is possible that the conceptualization of gender role in Chinese culture may differ from that in Western culture in that Chinese males are often encouraged to develop some communal traits for building and maintaining interpersonal relationships. In other words, while communal traits have been viewed as an essential feature of femininity in Western societies, some of these traits may be incorporated into the conceptualization of masculinity in Chinese culture. For example, the femininity traits such as warm and affectionate were found to be more preferable for Chinese males than for females (Zhang, Norvilitis, & Jin, 2001). Contrary to the copious studies on gender issues carried out in Western countries, little research has been conducted under Chinese cultural background. To fill the gap, the current study intends to examine the relationships among the desirable and undesirable gender role traits and their effects on psychological well-being using a sample of Chinese university students. Based on Spence et al. (1979) and Helgeson (1994) theories, two hypotheses can be posited for this study: (a) undesirable traits associated with one sex will be negatively correlated with desirable traits associated with the opposite sex, and the relationship between desirable and undesirable components of the same set of gender role traits will be non-significant, and (b) both desirable and undesirable masculinity and femininity traits will predict psychological well-being, which are indexed by self-esteem, acceptance of others, general well-being, and trait anxiety.