Sex and Gender Differences in Personal Relationships  book cover
1st Edition

Sex and Gender Differences in Personal Relationships

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ISBN 9781572303225
Published December 18, 1998 by Guilford Press
193 Pages

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Book Description

Challenging a commonly held assumption that men and women hail from different psychological and social "planets," this illuminating work reexamines what the empirical research really shows about how the sexes communicate in close relationships. The volume demonstrates that stereotypical beliefs about men and women fail to predict their actual interaction behavior, and highlights evidence of similarities - as well as differences - between the two groups. Setting forth an integrative theory of gender differences, the authors propose that communication behavior in different activities is the means by which sex and gender role expectations are created and sustained. This volume is suitable for students, scholars, and researchers in communication, social psychology, marriage and family studies, and gender studies as well as clinicians working with individuals, couples, and families.

Table of Contents

Preface. Moving Beyond Stereotypes. Sex, Gender, and Emotion. Communicating Intimacy. Communicating Control. Division of Household Labor. Toward an Activity-Based View of Gender.

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Daniel J. Canary, PhD, is Professor of Speech Communication at The Pennsylvania State University, University Park campus. Dr. Canary has written several books, book chapters, and journal articles on interpersonal communication and relationships.

Tara M. Emmers-Sommer, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Emmers-Sommer's research focuses on relational development and de-escalation; her interests also include the portrayal of women in the media.

Sandra L. Faulkner is a PhD candidate in the Department of Speech Communication at The Pennsylvania State University. Her research interests include topics related to women's health, such as safe sex talk and practices, and she teaches in the women's studies program at Penn State.


"An informative, thought-provoking, and much needed addition to the literature, this book carefully critiques and takes us beyond outdated stereotypic views of men and women in personal relationships. It provides an excellent synthesis of the scholarship on gender and the experience and expression of emotion, the communication of intimacy and control, and the division of labor in relationships....An important book that should be read by everyone with an interest in better understanding relationships between the sexes." - Elizabeth J. Aries, PhD, Amherst College

"This book is comprehensive and fair in its treatment of gender. Rather than putting forth an overly simplistic and stereotypical view of gender, or arguing that there are no differences between men and women, this book explores the complexities and constraints on the dynamics of gender of personal relationships.It would make an excellent text for a graduate seminar on gender,and is also necessary reading for professionals in the areas of communication, gender, and/or personal relationships." - Kathryn Dindia, Universtiy of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

"Outstanding This book is better researched, more balanced, less biased, and more current than any other on the topic. It focuses on both similarities and differences, both biology and culture, both perception and reality, both scientific and humanistic views. If students and scholars want the state of the art, then this is it. I fully intend to use it in my class on sex, gender, and communication."- Peter A. Andersen, San Diego State University