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

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgment

This research was partially supported by Grants BCS-0109997 and BCS-0417335 from the National Science Foundation.

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Correspondence to Laurie A. Rudman.

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Rudman, L.A., Phelan, J.E. The Interpersonal Power of Feminism: Is Feminism Good for Romantic Relationships?. Sex Roles 57, 787–799 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-007-9319-9

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Keywords

  • Feminism
  • Close relationships
  • Feminist stereotypes
  • Intergroup relations
  • Gender attitudes