Sex typing and androgyny in dyadic interaction: Individual differences in responsiveness to physical attractiveness

Susan Andersen, Sandra L. Bem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In an expansion of the "behavioral confirmation" paradigm developed by M. Snyder et al, 12 sex-typed and 12 androgynous (Bem Sex-Role Inventory) undergraduates of each sex engaged in getting-acquainted telephone conversations with allegedly attractive and unattractive members of their own and the opposite sex. Although females were more socially responsive than males, the sexes neither differed in their responsiveness to physical attractiveness nor in their responsiveness to cross-sex and same-sex interaction. As hypothesized, sex-typed individuals were rated by blind judges as being significantly more responsive toward allegedly attractive than unattractive partners. In contrast, androgynous men did not differentiate on the basis of physical attractiveness, and androgynous women actually led allegedly unattractive targets to be rated as more socially attractive than allegedly attractive targets, thereby disconfirming the physical attractiveness stereotype. Because cultural definitions of physical attractiveness are different for men and women, results are discussed in the context of recent evidence that sex-typed individuals have a particular readiness to encode and organize information in terms of gender. (22 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-86
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1981


  • sex typing & androgyny, individual differences in responsiveness to physical attractiveness of partner, male vs female dyads

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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