Preferred Strategies for Female and Male Initiators İn Romantic Relationship Initiation: The Role of Stereotypes Related to Romantic Relationships, Rejection Sensitivity and Relationship Anxiety

Mediha Ömür, Ayda Büyükşahin-Sunal

Abstract


The aim of this study is to evaluate the associations between preferences about which strategy (e.g. direct, indirect or pasive strategies) should be used by women and men in order to initiate relationship, attitudes toward stereotypes related to romantic relationships, rejection sensitivity and relationship anxiety. It is also aimed to evaluate to what extent rejection sensitivity and relationship anxiety determine the stereotypical attitudes concerning men’s initiation in relationships. The sample of the study included 373 participants (228 women - 145 men) between the ages of 18 - 37 (X = 22.08, SD = 2.18). The questionaire that consisted of demografic information form, Relationship Fear/Anxiety Subscale of Multidimensional Relationship Scale, Attitudes Toward Stereotypes Related to Romantic Relationships Scale and Rejection Sensitivity Scale were administered to the participants in person as printed forms or by internet as online forms. Findings showed that both female and male participants mostly supported indirect strategy for female initiators, and direct strategy for male ones. Female participants’ support for direct strategy was found to be greater than male participants’ support for direct strategy where the initiator was male (p < .05). Conversely males’ support for direct strategy was greater than female participants’ support for direct strategy where the initiator was female (p < .05). Relationship anxiety, attitudes toward stereotypes related to romantic relationships and rejection sensitivity were found to be differed in the basis of different strategy preferences for female and male initiators. Female participants who supported indirect strategy for female initiators were more in favor of stereotypes concerning men’s initiation and men’s dominance in relationships than female participants who supported direct strategy for female initiators (p < .01). These participants were also found to have more rejection sensitivity than the other female participants group by a marginal significance level (p = .051). Male participants who supported direct strategy for female initiators were found to have more relationship anxiety than male participants who supported indirect strategy for female initiators (p < .01). Male participants who supported direct strategy for male initiators were observed as more supportive of stereotypes concerning men’s dominance in relationships (p < .01). In women sample, supporting stereotypes concerning men’s initiation was explained by the number of individual’s own initiations and rejection sensitivity. Findings of the research were discussed within the framework of gender roles, stereotypes related to romantic relationships and rejection sensitivity theory.

DOI: 10.5901/jesr.2015.v5n1s1p195


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Journal of Educational and Social Research ISSN 2239-978X(Print) ISSN 2240-0524(Online)

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