Differential state anxiety reactions to two types of threat for androgynous vs. traditionally sex-typed subjects



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Texas Tech University


The present study investigated the differential state anxiety reactions, measured by self report and by performance on a cognitive task, of traditionally sex-typed and androgynous male and female college students. There were 30 subjects in each of the four groups: masculine males, androgynous males, feminine females, and androgynous females. The anxiety reactions of 10 subjects from each group were examined under one of three conditions: a physical danger stress, an evaluation/failure stress, and a no stress control. Results indicated that both stressors produced increases in state anxiety on both measures. As predicted, in both stress conditions the feminine females reported more anxiety than the masculine and androgynous subjects. Masculine and androgynous subjects did not differ from each other. There were no differences between groups on the cognitive performance measure; all groups displayed significantly more anxiety-related interference in the evaluation/failure condition than in the physical harm condition. The results were discussed from the perspectives of the Bem (1974) and Spence (1978) models of sex role functioning.



Sex role, Anxiety, Androgyny (Psychology)