DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2008.00474

Acta Psychologica Sinica (心理学报) 2008/40:4 PP.474-486

The Relationship between Sex-role and Subjective Well-being in China

Since the development of the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI) in 1974, numerous studies have been devoted to sex role. Among these studies, the relation of sex-role to psychological well-being has received the most attention. To date, three theories regarding the utility of sex-roles have been proposed: the congruency model, the androgyny model, and the masculinity model. The congruency model posits that masculinity facilitates male's mental health but not female's while femininity facilitates female's well-being but not male's. Androgyny model states that people with high levels of both masculinity and femininity enjoy the highest level of well-being independent of their gender. Masculinity model holds that masculinity is the dominant factor that promotes one's psychological well-being. Since most related studies have been done in individualistic cultures, the present study aims to test the generality of the findings in a collectivistic culture, China, by examining the relation of sex-role to subjective well-being. Sex-role was measured by a Chinese version of the BSRI(for masculine subscale, α=0.86; for feminine subscale, α=0.82); Subjective Well-Being was measured by scale developed by Diener and his colleagues (1985)(for the Satisfaction with Life Scale(SWLS), α=0.85; for the Positive Affections and Negative Affections Scale(PANAS), α=0.85). Both scales were rated on a 7-point likert scale. A total of 1242 college students completed the above mentioned two scales online among which 394 were male and 848 were female. The age of the sample ranged from 17 to 25 with a mean of 20.88 (SD=1.46). Chinese college students scored higher on feminine scale than on masculine scale, confirming the collectivistic characteristics of Chinese culture. Two hierarchical regression analyses were conducted with sex, masculinity and femininity as predictors and SWL and PANAS as criteria, respectively. Results demonstrated that the main effects of sex, masculinity and femininity were significant, but none of the interactions were significant. This suggests that the addictive androgyny model is most appropriate in explaining the relation of sex-role to subjective well-being in Chinese culture. Currently, the traditional congruency model is not applicable to neither Western nor Eastern cultures. However, a masculine sex role is ideal in western world while androgyny is ideal in China, suggesting differences exist across cultures in ideal sex-role type. The study also suggests that findings of sex role related research based on a western sample should not be assumed to generalize to other cultures without further examination.

Key words:sex role, masculine, feminine, androgyny, China.

ReleaseDate:2014-07-21 14:19:45

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