Status Plus




Are masculinity and femininity correlated with attachment styles? a pilot study with bem sex role inventory and attachment style questionnaire

Ciocca, G1; Zauri, S2; Limoncin, E1; Mollaioli, D1; Lenzi, A3; Jannini, EA1

1: Departement of Systems Medicine, Tor Vergata University of Rome, Italy; 2: Department of Biotechnological and Applied Clinical Sciences, University of L’Aquila, Italy; 3: Department of Experimental Medicine, Sapienza, University of Rome, Italy.

Aim. Masculinity and Femminity are characteristics that across both the gender and represent an integrant part of personality. The aim of this study was evaluate a possible relationship between Masculinity/Femmininity traits with Attachment Style.

Materials and Methods. We recruited a convenience sample composed by 91 university students and we administered them a psychometric protocol. We invited the individuals to compile a socio-demographic questionnaire, the Attachment Style Questionnaire (ASQ) to assess relational patterns, the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BEM) for masculinity/femininity. Correlation and regression analyses were performed to evaluate our data.

Results. Pearson Correlation revealed the following associations in the total sample about masculinity: confidence (r=.397; p<.001), need for approval (r=-.215; p<.05) and preoccupation with relationship (r=-.213; p<.05). At the same way, in female group masculinity correlates with confidence (r=.339; p<.05), and also in males (.439; p<.001). However, in male group femininity traits are in association with need for approval (r=471; p<.001) and preoccupation with relationship (r=329; p<.05).

Regression analysis further confirmed the relationship between confidence and masculinity in the total sample and in both the sexes: (total: β=.420; p=.000), (females: β=.375; p=.017) and (males: β=.547; p=.003).

Conclusions. This study originally demonstrated the association between confidence and masculinity in males and females. Therefore, a secure attachment style is correlated with masculinity in both the sexes. This association is related to the primary relationships and it plays a central role for the development of personality and gender identity. As psychodynamic perspective suggests, we hypothesized that a healthy triangulation among child and caregivers (paternal function, particularly) favorites an introjection of masculinity. This introjection could be predict by a secure attachment, as our data found. Further investigations are necessary to better interpret these results.


Work supported by industry: no.

Go Back