Original Article

Sex Roles

, Volume 57, Issue 11, pp 787-799

First online:

The Interpersonal Power of Feminism: Is Feminism Good for Romantic Relationships?

  • Laurie A. RudmanAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Rutgers University Email author 
  • , Julie E. PhelanAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Rutgers University

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Past research suggests that women and men alike perceive feminism and romance to be in conflict (Rudman and Fairchild, Psychol Women Q, 31:125–136, 2007). A survey of US undergraduates (N = 242) and an online survey of older US adults (N = 289) examined the accuracy of this perception. Using self-reported feminism and perceived partners’ feminism as predictors of relationship health, results revealed that having a feminist partner was linked to healthier relationships for women. Additionally, men with feminist partners reported greater relationship stability and sexual satisfaction in the online survey. Finally, there was no support for negative feminist stereotypes (i.e., that feminists are single, lesbians, or unattractive). In concert, the findings reveal that beliefs regarding the incompatibility of feminism and romance are inaccurate.


Feminism Close relationships Feminist stereotypes Intergroup relations Gender attitudes