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Strangers in a Strange LabHow Personality Shapes Our Initial Encounters with Others$
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William Ickes

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195372953

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195372953.001.0001

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The Taijitu of Androgyny

The Taijitu of Androgyny

Chapter:
(p.103) 7 The Taijitu of Androgyny
Source:
Strangers in a Strange Lab
Author(s):

William Ickes

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195372953.003.0007

The ancient Chinese symbol of the taijitu, which visually portrays the dynamic balance between the more feminine qualities of the yin and the more masculine qualities of the yang, finds a parallel in the academic theories of the philosopher Robert Bakan, the sociologists Talcott Parsons and Robert Freed Bales, and the psychologist Sandra Bem. The personality measure that Bem developed to measure psychological femininity and masculinity as independent dimensions was used by the author and his colleagues in a series of dyad interaction studies. The results of these studies reveal that an androgynous orientation contributes to having good social relations with others, with the feminine component of androgyny being primarily responsible for this effect. The success of marriages between partners of varying sex-role compositions is probably predictable, according to the author's theory of sex-role influences in dyadic interaction.

Keywords:   taijitu, yin-yang, Robert Bakan, Sandra Bem, psychological masculinity/femininity, androgyny, sex-role orientation, William Ickes

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