Sex Roles [sers] PP1245-sers-488665 June 4, 2004 5:7 Style ﬁle version June 3rd, 2002
Sex Roles, Vol. 51, Nos. 1/2, July 2004 (
An Experimental Examination of the Effects of Sex
and Masculinity/Femininity on Psychological, Physiological,
and Behavioral Responses During Communication Situations
and Yo Miyata
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of biological sex and masculin-
ity/femininity on physiological (blink and heart rates), emotional (anxiety and mood), and
behavioral responses (behavioral ratings of communication skills) during communication sit-
uations. Participants were 46 students in a Japanese university. They were categorized into
3 gender types—androgynous, stereotypical, and cross-gender on the Masculinity–Humanity–
Femininity Scale (Ito, 1978) and the Social Skills Inventory (Riggio, 1986). The communication
situations consisted of 2 experimental tasks (question-asking and self-introduction in front of a
video camera). These two tasks were conducted in both Japanese and English. The results sug-
gested that the cross-gender-type participants (feminine men and masculine women) showed
increased blink and heart rates. For the behavioral ratings, the cross-gender type and the an-
drogynous gender type were judged to have better communication skills than the stereotypical
gender type. There was no signiﬁcant difference in emotional responses among groups. The
interaction of biological sex and masculinity/femininity may be associated with interpersonal
adjustment and its stress responses.
KEY WORDS: biological sex; masculinity/femininity; heart rate; blink rate; video assessment; communi-
cation situation; language tasks.
Some studies on communication have focused on
masculinity/femininity (LaFrance & Carmen, 1980;
Zuckerman, DeFrank, Spiegel, & Larrance, 1982).
Ickes and Barnes (1978), Ickes, Schermer, and Steeno
(1979), and Lamke and Bell (1982) examined the ef-
fects of gender type on interpersonal adjustment dur-
ing a communication situation by assessing such be-
haviors as gazing, interrupting, nodding, and smil-
ing. According to their results, a pair of androgy-
nous gender types showed better performances such
as having conversation, looking at each other, and
sitting nearer than did other pairs of gender types.
Hirokawa, Dohi, Yamada, and Miyata (2000) also ex-
Kwansei Gakuin University, Hyogo, Japan.
Kansai University of Social Welfare Sciences, Osaka, Japan.
To whom correspondence should be addressed at Okayama Uni-
versity Graduate School of Medicine and Dentistry, Hygiene
and Preventive Medicine, 2-5-1, Shikata-cho, Okayama 700-8558,
Japan; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
amined the effects of an individual’s gender type and
his/her partner’s gender type and found that an in-
dividual who had communication with an androgy-
nous partner may have had less anxiety and uneasi-
ness during an encounter situation. Those preceding
studies supported the interactive androgyny model.
On the other hand, the study by Frisch and McCord
(1987) supported the additive androgyny model by
showing that individuals identiﬁed as having higher
masculinity, higher femininity, and androgyny display
similar levels of behavioral ratings of communication
skills, which were deﬁned as initiating and carrying
on a smooth, appropriate, and friendly conversation.
However, Hirokawa, Dohi, et al. (2000) did not in-
clude the cross-gender type, so whether this gender
type is also socially desirable has yet to be established.
According to Frable (1989), cross-gender types
may think of gender as an unimportant distinction,
and they are likely to reject gender rules, which they
2004 Plenum Publishing Corporation