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Anxiety and masculinity-femininity Pruesse, Manfred Gebhard

Abstract

The primary purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship between anxiety and masculinity-femininity in order to clarify some of the causes of the sex differences found in anxiety. A secondary purpose was to investigate the overt and covert aspects of anxiety in feminine males and masculine females. The sample was composed of 33 male and 38 female university students enrolled in a second year summer school course in psychology. The IPAT Anxiety Scale and the MMPI Mf Scale were administered, in that order, during a regular classroom period. The relationship between the two sets of scores was examined. The 15 most feminine males and the 15 most masculine males were compared with respect to their overt and covert anxiety scores. The same was done with the female subjects. A correlation of 0.26, significant at the 0.01% level, was obtained between the anxiety scores and the Mf scores. Feminine males were overtly and covertly significantly more anxious than masculine males. Feminine females were overtly significantly more anxious than masculine females. However, feminine and masculine females scored approximately equally on the covert anxiety scale. It was concluded that anxiety is associated with femininity. The suggestion was made that it may be some aspect of the female sex role, as delineated by society, that accounts for the higher anxiety in feminine people.

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