Heterosexual adjustment among women and men with non-traditional gender identities: Testing predictions from self-verification theory
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Heterosexual individuals who engage in dyadic sex are guided by scripts that dictate expectations and behavior. In our culture, these sexual scripts are based on traditional gender roles in which women are primarily expressive and men are primarily instrumental. Drawing from self-verification theory, the authors reasoned that instrumental women and expressive men experience greater psychological discomfort with sexual interactions because they are not treated in a self-verifying manner. As predicted, women who identified as highly instrumental (but not expressive) endorsed greater sexual anxiety and less desire than either traditionally expressive feminine or androgynous women. Likewise, men who identified as highly expressive (but not instrumental) endorsed less sexual desire than androgynous men. Sociocultural influences on self-views and sexual functioning are discussed.