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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Sex-role orientation and interpersonal needs Vinet, Maurice R.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between sex-role orientation and interpersonal needs. The sample consisted of 59 heterosexual couples living together. Each subject was asked to fill out the Bern Sex-Role Inventory (BSRI) which was used to determine the subjects sex-role orientation. Based on the results obtained, four sex-role orientation subgroups were formed: Androgynous, Masculine, Feminine and Undifferentiated. The Fundamental Interpersonal Relation Orientation-Behavior (FIRO-B) was used to measure the subjects interpersonal needs in the areas of Inclusion, Control and Affection. The results obtained by each gender and each sex-role subgroup on the FIRO-B were compared with each other in order to determine if there were statistically significant differences among interpersonal needs of men, women and the four sex-role orientation groups. In analyzing the data, the strength and direction of the relationship between sex-role orientation and interpersonal needs was established. In addition each couple was asked to complete the Family Orientation Questionnaire in order to gather demographic data about the sample used in the study. The results indicated that the different sex-role orientation subgroups differed significantly in the area of Control. Masculine subjects had the greatest need to. express Control and Feminine subjects to receive Control. The Inclusion and Affection scales yielded non-significant results among sex-role orientation subgroups. Only the dimension, Expressed Affection, was statistically different between men and women (alpha = .05). Women had a greater need to express affection than men. The study showed some relation between sex-role orientation and interpersonal needs. Based on these results, the implications for counselling were analyzed and alternatives suggested.

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