Deviations from Conventional Sex-Role Behavior: Effect of Perceivers' Sex-Role Attitudes on Attraction

Deborah Richardson, Sandy Bernstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Eighty research participants who were either traditional or nontraditional in their attitudes toward women rated their attraction toward male or female stimulus strangers who were either masculine or feminine in expressed sex-role preferences. Results replicated previous findings of a preference for stimulus persons who express “appropriate” sex-role interests, with feminine males being rated most negatively. However, as predicted, this effect was moderated by the attitudes toward women held by the research participants. Traditional participants showed a strong attraction preference for masculine male and feminine female strangers, but nontraditional participants were relatively nondiscriminating in their preferences. As attitudes slowly shift in a more egalitarian direction, individuals should become less constrained by current sexrole stereotypes. However, in view of the fact that all participants showed some degree of relative dislike for feminine males on all measures, freedom of role expression may remain more difficult for males than for females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-355
Number of pages5
JournalBasic and Applied Social Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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