The current study contributes to 2 growing areas of research: one distinguishes between routine and strategic relational maintenance behaviors, and the other concerns the relative utility of biological sex and psychological gender as predictors of communication behaviors. Specifically, we sought to uncover sex and gender differences in routine and strategic maintenance and to test the relative strength of each as predictors of routine and strategic maintenance. Survey data were collected from 189 individuals in romantic relationships. Results indicated only one sex difference; women use routine openness more than men do. However, femininity was positively associated with the routine use of advice, conflict management, and openness. Masculinity was positively associated with the strategic use of openness and tasks. Femininity was not associated with strategic maintenance, and masculinity was not associated with routine maintenance. The value of distinguishing between sex and gender to explain how individuals function in relationships is discussed.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2004
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