Sex Roles

, Volume 17, Issue 5–6, pp 339–352 | Cite as

Sex differences in same- and cross-sex supportive relationships

  • Robin A. Buhrke
  • Dale R. Fuqua


The current study focused on sex differences in same- and cross-sex supportive relationships. Subjects, 249 female and 103 male volunteers, completed a questionnaire designed to assess the nature and quality of supportive relationships. Four dimensions of relationships were examined: the relative frequency and patterning of interactions, closeness, diversity of interactions, and interpersonal perception. A 2×2 multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was conducted with sex of subject as a randomized factor and sex of supporter as a repeated factor. Sixteen dependent variables measured the relationship dimensions. Results of the MANOVA suggested that there are differences between women and men in the qualities of their same- and cross-sex supportive relationships. In same-sex relationships, women have more contact when under stress; are closer; more satisfied with initiation, balance, and closeness; and perceive themselves as knowing the other and being known by the other more than do men. Women initiate more in cross-sex relationships, and want to give more than men do. Men describe cross-sex relationships as closer than women do. Both women and men want more frequent contact, closer relationships, and want to give more in cross-sex relationships than in same-sex ones. These and further results, and implications of the findings are discussed.


Multivariate Analysis Social Psychology Relative Frequency Male Volunteer Relationship Dimension 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robin A. Buhrke
    • 1
  • Dale R. Fuqua
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of CounselingUniversity StationGrand Forks

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