Sex Roles, Vol. 42, Nos. 11/12, 2000
Age and Gender Role Conﬂict: A Cross-Sectional
Study of Australian Men
Charles Sturt University
B. F. Lloyd
Southern Cross University
A total of 221 educated middle-class Australian males across three age groups
(18–24, 36–45, and 60-plus years), responded to O’Neil et al.’s Gender
Role Conﬂict Scales and a set of measures for psychological well-being. A
MANCOVA design, with psychological well-being as the covariate, found
signiﬁcant age differences on two gender-role conﬂict scales. Results suggest
that certain conﬂicts in a man’s life to do with ambition, career, and family
may be seen as developmentally functional rather than dysfunctional. No age
differences were found on the Gender Role Conﬂict variables for emotional
expressiveness and intimacy between males. These two variables are discussed
as a function of mood rather than indices of dysfunction.
Theory and research on the changing gender-role characteristics of men
suggests that as men age they shift ‘‘in the direction of expressing more
stereotypically feminine aspects of their personalities and becoming more
nurturant’’ (Cournoyer & Mahalik, 1995, p. 12). In the ﬁrst half of a man’s
adult life, he is said to use up, or perhaps burn out his masculine resources.
Then in the second half of his adult life he must make the most of what
feminine resources he has available (Jung, 1969). Middle-aged men are
said to be less concerned with striving and ambition, and instead turn
Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, Australia; and Northern Rivers Area Health Service,
Southern Cross University, Lismore, Australia; and private practice, NSW, Australia.
To whom correspondence should be addressed at 244 Tyagarah Road, Tyagarah, NSW,
Australia 2481; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
0360-0025/00/0600-1027$18.00/0 2000 Plenum Publishing Corporation