, Volume 11, Issue 3-4, pp 227-240

Life satisfaction and sex-role concept

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The purpose of the present survey study was to investigate the relationship between life satisfaction and sex-role concept. Two hundred and seventeen respondents completed a two-part questionnaire, which consisted of the Life Satisfaction Survey, designed by the authors, and the Bem Sex Role Inventory. General satisfaction with life was found to be a function of the level of satisfaction derived from various aspects of life, particularly aspects chosen as the most important. Consistent with previous studies, general satisfaction with life is positively associated with education level, income level, and being married. In contrast to previous findings, age is not negatively correlated with overall satisfaction, and a significant difference between males and females showed up. As predicted, sex-role concept was found to be a useful construct in explaining the differential importance of various domains of life as well as the relative contribution of those domains to the individual's overall satisfaction with life. Psychologically masculine people choose as important and enjoy more the instrumental aspects of life; psychologically feminine people choose as important and enjoy more the socioemotional aspects of life; psychologically androgynous people choose as important and enjoy more both the instrumental and socioemotional aspects of life.

The research presented here was supported by NSF Grant 77-160107, principal investigator Morton Deutsch. The authors wish to thank Morton Deutsch and Gary Bridge for their guidance and helpful comments on earlier drafts of this article. The assistance of Gidi Shichman. Kenneth Kressel, Joan Grosser, Lotti Tartell, Derry Ann Moritz, and Trinity Church on the Green—New Haven is also gratefully acknowledged.