Sex role and dating orientation

M. P. McCabe*, J. K. Collins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


The assumption that males approach dating from a pronounced psychobiological orientation while females approach it from a psychoaffectional orientation was questioned. The sex role adopted by the individual was considered to be as important a variable as biological sex. Male and female subjects from three age groups, 16-17 years, 19-20 years, and 24-25 years, completed questionnaires designed to measure their sex roles and dating orientations. All groups of males were found to approach the dating relationship from both a psychoaffectional and psychobiological orientation, while all groups of females approached it from a psychoaffectional orientation and showed an increase in psychobiological orientation with increasing age and increasing depth of relationship. Significant differences were also found in dating attitudes between male and female subjects adopting different sex roles. It was concluded that neither masculinity and femininity, nor psychobiological and psychoaffectional attitudes to dating, lie on single continua. Masculine and feminine sex roles as independent dimensions influence psychobiological and psychoaffectional orientations to dating which are in themselves independent dimensions and not ends of a single continuum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-425
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1979

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