The influence of sex role orientation on initial interactions within same-sex dyads
Lamke, Leanne Kay
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The purpose of the present study was to assess the relationship between sex role identity, behavioral interaction, and interpersonal attraction in an initial encounter. Eighty-two female subjects identified as either feminine, androgynous, or undifferentiated participated in the study in same-sex dyads. The design contrasted three different dyad types which included: (a) femininefeminine; (b) androgynous -androgynous; and (c) undifferentiated- undifferentiated. Each dyad completed an initial 5-minute unstructured interaction, a 10-minute getting acquainted exercise, and a final 5-minute unstructured interaction. Results of the initial unstructured interaction indicated greater interpersonal attraction between androgynous individuals as compared with the undifferentiated and feminine dyad types. Androgynous interactions were viewed by three independent raters as more smooth, natural, and relaxed as compared to undifferentiated interactions. In the final unstructured interaction, androgynous individuals were again more attracted to one another and indicated a greater desire to get to know their partner better as compared to the other dyad types. There was also a significant difference in overall behavioral interaction between the dyad types with the androgynous individuals exhibiting the greatest degree of behavioral involvement. Interactions in androgynous dyads were perceived by the raters as much more smooth, natural, and relaxed relative to both undifferentiated and feminine interactions. Discussion of the results emphasized the need to further examine the relationship between sex role identity, behavioral interaction, and attraction in interpersonal encounters. Implications of individual differences in sex role identity for relationship development were also discussed.