To What Extent do Gender and Personality Differences

One of the great unreciprocated, perchance unanswerable, inquiries is: what is love? It is plausible, nevertheless, to say that love means different things to different people. Some psychologists have surely seen it this manner and have set out a figure of theories of love. Two obvious facets that may impact the manner in which people view love are their gender and their personality. This essay will analyze some of the research that has looked at this inquiry.

Love has been defined in a assortment of ways by psychologists. Possibly one of the best-known is Sternberg ‘s ( 1986 ) triangular theory which put forward the thought that there are three different interrelated graduated tables of import in love. These are passion, familiarity and committedness. Each of these constituents varies with the different features of the relationship between two people. Berscheid & A ; Hatfield ( 1974 ) , meanwhile, place two chief types of love: companionate and passionate. The former refers to a deep bond between two people, whereas the ulterior refers to love with a chiefly sexual or affectional constituent.

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As Fehr & A ; Broughton ( 2001 ) point out, the manner that the genders have varied in respect to their construct of love has been addressed from a assortment of positions. Sullivan ( 1953 ) , for illustration, has posited people have two basic demands in interpersonal interactions: the demand for tenderness or fondness and the demand for power or position. Although this is now a stereotyped position of adult females, early research workers suggested that adult females were more likely to demo tenderness and fondness while work forces were more likely to exercise their power or position. Fehr & A ; Broughton ( 2001 ) argue that this means that adult females will be more likely than work forces to see love in companionate footings, while work forces more likely to see love in passionate footings.

Fehr & A ; Broughton ( 2001 ) besides argue that work forces have a more romantic position of love than adult females. Some research has shown, for illustration, that work forces fall in love more rapidly than adult females ( Huston, Surra, Fitzgerald & A ; Gate, 1981 ) . Other research has shown that work forces ‘s position of love is more related to sex than adult females ( Hendrick & A ; Hendrick, 1987 ) . Hendrick & A ; Hendrick ( 1995 ) place some gender differences in their analysis of 1,090 participants at three separate intervals. Womans tended to be more oriented towards friendly relationship and less involved in playing psychological games. Men, on the other manus, were, on norm, less oriented towards friendly relationship. They besides tended to state they had been in love more frequently and had had a greater figure of sexual spouses. These consequences were explained by Hendrick & A ; Hendrick ( 1995 ) in footings of both differing schemes of copulating that have proven evolutionarily adaptative every bit good as in footings of societal acquisition.

Gender differences in constructs of love were besides examined by Fehr & A ; Broughton ( 2001 ) in one of their surveies of 357 pupils. They predicted that adult females would hit more extremely on the step of companionate love overall, but merely limited support was found for this with adult females hiting higher on merely two sub-types. The two sub-types identified were ‘sisterly love ‘ and ‘friendship love ‘ . Other than this there was no statistically important difference between the genders. There were important differences, nevertheless, in the measurings of passionate love with work forces hiting more extremely on graduated tables mensurating, for illustration, romantic love, infatuation and sexual love. Fehr & A ; Broughton ( 2001 ) are acute to indicate out that while there were some differences found between work forces and adult females ; these were mostly outweighed by the similarities. In fact work forces and adult females have so many similarities that the differences have likely been overstated in old research.

The 2nd facet to be examined here is the consequence of personality on the love construct. In order to transport out their analysis, Fehr & A ; Broughton ( 2001 ) rely on the work carried out by Kemper ( 1978 ) . Kemper ( 1978 ) argued that connexions could be made between romantic love and high degrees of laterality. In the theoretical account that Fehr & A ; Broughton ( 2001 ) are utilizing, they argue that this equates to a connexion between passionate love and high degrees of laterality. Similarly, companionate love was argued by Kemper ( 1978 ) to be associated with low-levels of laterality ( or nurturance ) . When looking for a correlativity, so, between these factors, Fehr & A ; Broughton ( 2001 ) do in fact find a connexion. Those who are low in laterality tend to see love in a companionate manner, whereas those high in laterality tend to see love in a passionate manner.

In a 3rd constituent to their research, Fehr & A ; Broughton ( 2001 ) besides carried out correlational analyses utilizing the Five Factor Model ( FFM ) , the major attack used by psychologists in mensurating personality. Here they were looking for connexions between the types of love, chiefly companionate and passionate, and the factors in the FFM. First, amenity, really similar to the construct of nurturance, was found to be related to the thought of a nurturant sort of love. Dominance, near to extroversion on the FFM, was found non to hold any peculiarly strong correlativities. Conscientiousness, although predicted to be related to companionate love, was merely affiliated really weakly despite the grounds that those who are more painstaking in their relationships are likely to see love in footings of greater friendly relationship ( McAdams & A ; Constantian, 1983 ) . Neurosis was connected, as predicted by the writers, to passionate love and negatively correlated with companionate types of love. Openness to see found few links with constructs of love.

In an effort to convey together the thoughts of gender and personality with constructs of love, Fehr & A ; Broughton ( 2001 ) integrated their research from the three surveies they carried out. They found that even when personality factors were taken into history, there were still gender differences in love constructs, proposing that each has an independent consequence. Finally, Fehr & A ; Broughton ( 2001 ) argue that the thoughts of laterality and nurturance could be used in the hereafter for conveying together thoughts about gender and personality differences in love.

In decision, some research has been carried out into the possible connexions between gender, personality and constructs of love. Two chief love constructs have been examined, that of companionate and passionate love. Some gender differences were found, specifically that work forces tended to see love in non-nurturant footings. Overall, though, the research surveyed here has tended to underscore the similarities across gender as, comparatively, the differences were rather little. Some personality differences did predict constructs of love although, once more, the consequences were non peculiarly strong. In replying the inquiry, so, of what love means to different classs of people, the research examined here shows that while gender and personality have some probationary relationships to love, they merely provide some limited replies.


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