Sex role perceptions and social anxiety in opposite-sex and same-sex situations
The relationship between perceived sex role characteristics and self-rated anxiety and self-efficacy in both opposite-sex and same-sex interactions was evaluated. Forty-five male and 45 female undergraduates were administered the Bem Sex Role Inventory, and male or female versions of the Survey of Heterosexual Interactions, the Interpersonal Interaction Survey, and a Same Sex Interaction Inventory developed for the study. For both male and female subjects, reported discomfort in both opposite-sex and same-sex situations was significantly negatively related to masculinity, and unrelated to femininity. Congruently, self-efficacy ratings were positively related to masculinity and unrelated to femininity. Androgynous and masculine subjects did not differ in reported social discomfort or self-efficacy in either type of situation. These results suggest that social difficulties are associated with a deficit in some of the characteristics associated with the masculine sex role and add to a growing body of literature finding that only masculinity is associated with mental health and adjustment. Ratings in opposite-sex and in same-sex situations were strongly correlated with each other for both male and female subjects, suggesting that dating anxiety may be part of a broader pattern of social difficulty for both men and women. © 1986 Plenum Publishing Corporation.
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