Sex Roles

, Volume 46, Issue 5–6, pp 159–165 | Cite as

The Relationships Between Codependency and Femininity and Masculinity

  • Greg E. Dear
  • Clare M. Roberts


Feminist writers critical of the codependency model have argued that codependency refers to an overly strong conformity to the traditional feminine role. Canonical correlation analysis using data from 192 first-year university students found a moderate association between codependency and gender-role identification. The specific nature of this association varied with different aspects of codependency. External focus (approval seeking) was associated with high scores on the negative aspects of femininity and low scores on positive aspects of masculinity. Self-sacrificing was associated with high positive femininity and low negative masculinity. Women scored higher than men on one aspect of codependency: external focus. Although the data are broadly consistent with a feminist critique of codependency, the relationship between codependency and gender-role identification appears to be more complex than previously suggested.

codependency gender roles femininity masculinity 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Greg E. Dear
    • 1
  • Clare M. Roberts
    • 2
  1. 1.School of PsychologyEdith Cowan UniversityJoondalupAustralia
  2. 2.School of PsychologyCurtin UniversityBertleyAustralia

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