Sex differences in social support have been explained in terms of gender differences in socialization and personality. The current research focused directly on the link between social support and gender variables. An adult, largely Caucasian sample of both sexes reported an experience in which they had received support, and were assessed on masculinity, femininity, nurturance, affiliation, autonomy, and self-confidence. The results revealed that gender, but not sex, was significantly correlated with patterns of social support. Femininity (in both sexes) was associated with seeking and receiving emotional support, and with seeking and receiving support from women. Masculinity (in both sexes) was linked only with receiving tangible support. These findings argue for the significance of femininity in promoting a more social form of well-being, and underscore the importance of studying gender directly rather than relying on sex as a proxy variable.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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