Toward Renewed Constructions of Masculinity and Femininity: Measuring Significant Psychological Differences between Young Men and Women’s Subjective Experiences in Their Romantic Relationships

  •  Nicolas Gabbay    
  •  Marie-France Lafontaine    
  •  Claude Lamontagne    


The present study focuses on newly conceptualized and observed significant differences between men and
women regarding their subjective experience of their intimate relationships. The experimental paradigm was
based on a new theory of masculinity and femininity developed by Lamontagne (2010), proposing one respective
factor per dimension. This study (1) re-evaluates Lamontagne’s initial findings using a modified qualitative tool
and a new quantitative measure: The Questionnaire of Objectality and Subjectality (QOS; Gabbay, 2010); (2)
verifies the QOS’ psychometric properties; (3) evaluates inter-sex differences on proposed factors; and (4)
examines complementarity of femininity and masculinity between romantic partners. The modified qualitative
tool, the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI; Bem, 1974), and the QOS were administered to 134 individuals.
Findings supported a theoretically coherent factor structure. Subscales demonstrated good reliability and the
expected correlations with the BSRI. Gender differences were qualitatively and quantitatively significant. Within
couples, partners’ relative femininity and masculinity were complementary.

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