Sex Roles

, Volume 24, Issue 9–10, pp 551–566 | Cite as

Gender role orientations and friendship: Some attenuation, but gender differences abound

  • Paul H. Wright
  • Mary Beth Scanlon


In an exploration of the degree to which gender role orientations would attenuate differences on a set of variables specified in a friendship model, 105 women and 101 men described themselves and their best friend of each gender on the Bem Sex Role Inventory. They also described their relationships with each friend using the Acquaintance Description Form F. Women's friendships with female friends were especially strong and rewarding as compared to their friendships with men, and as compared to men's friendships with either women or men. There was a modest attenuating effect due to subjects' GROs. Women, but not men, were sensitive to the perceived GROs of friends, with androgynous friends providing the strongest and broadest array of rewards. Contrary to the common conception of women's friendships as expressive and men's as instrumental, the results suggest that women's friendships are both expressive and instrumental.


Attenuation Gender Difference Social Psychology Gender Role Good Friend 
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 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul H. Wright
    • 1
  • Mary Beth Scanlon
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of North DakotaGrand Forks
  2. 2.Ramsey ClinicHastings

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