ERIC Number: ED243051
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Mar
Agency and Communion: An Alternative to Masculinity and Femininity.
Hawkins, Brenda L.
Androgyny research has been hampered by a dependency upon traditional masculine and feminine sex roles for definition. Bakan's (1966) concept of agency and communion, which parallels masculinity and femininity, refers to behavioral competencies, involving a style or manner of interacting with the environment devoid of gender designations and cultural variations. Agency is characterized by self-protection, self-assertion, and self-efficacy; communion is manifested through contact, openness, and union. To investigate whether the concepts of agency and communion can be used as alternatives to masculine and feminine in androgyny research, and to investigate the effect of psychological sex role and gender on the self-attribution of agentic and communal competencies, 44 adults (25 female, 19 male) completed the Bem Sex-Role Inventory and the Present Behavioral Competencies Scale of the Counseling Goals Inventory. An analysis of the results showed that psychological sex role systematically affected self-attributions of agentic and communal competencies. Androgynous and feminine-typed subjects reported significantly higher levels of communal competencies than did masculine-typed and undifferentiated subjects. Androgynous subjects reported high levels of both communal and agentic competencies, while undifferentiated subjects reported low levels of both. Based on the findings, agency and communion may be considered as possible alternative, parallel concepts in adrogyny research. (BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Personnel and Guidance Association (Washington, DC, March 20-23, 1983).