Sex Roles

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 235–244

The relationship between sex role attitudes and attitudes supporting marital violence

  • Jerry Finn

DOI: 10.1007/BF00287576

Cite this article as:
Finn, J. Sex Roles (1986) 14: 235. doi:10.1007/BF00287576


This study explored the relationship between attitudes toward sex roles and attitudes endorsing the legitimacy of physical force by men in the marital relationship. Approximately 40% of this sample of 300 college undergraduates were black, allowing black-white comparisons on these variables as well. The results support a sociocultural analysis of spouse abuse. A moderately strong positive relationship was found between traditional sex role preferences and attitudes supporting the use of physical force. In addition, men were found to hold more traditional sex role attitudes than women and were more likely to endorse the use of physical force in the marital relationship. Whites were found to be more traditional in their sex role attitudes than blacks, but no racial differences were found with regard to attitudes endorsing physical force. Further analysis revealed that traditional sex role attitudes were the most powerful predictor of attitudes supporting marital violence, while race and sex played a relatively unimportant role. Implications for spouse-abuse prevention program are discussed.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerry Finn
    • 1
  1. 1.University of North Carolina — GreensboroUSA