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Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience:  PsyD, LPC, CHt
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I just finished reading chapter 3 of the book titled "The Dependent

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I just finished reading chapter 3 of the book titled "The Dependent Personality" by Robert F. Bornstein. This chapter says that when self-report measures of dependency are used, the vast majority of studies examining gender differences in adult dependency have found significantly higher levels of dependency in women than in men. However, when projective measures of dependency are employed, researchers typically find that men and women show similar levels of dependency. Self-report measures of dependency ask the subject to respond to direct questions about dependent traits, feelings, and behaviors. Cultural factors generally discourage boys from expressing openly dependent feelings and needs. Therefore, men will be less willing than women to acknowledge dependent traits and feelings, even if they are aware of them. However, projective measures of dependency ask subjects for open-ended descriptions of ambiguous stimuli such as inkblots or drawings. These open-ended descriptions are then scored for dependent content, but the subjects are unaware of what content areas are of interest to the experimenter. Consequently, subjects will be unable to disguise or distort their projective responses based on social desirability and self-presentation needs.

Now with that said, my question is this: Since the evidence shows that men and women show similar levels of dependency, isn't culture pushing males to go against what God meant to be normal for males by discouraging males from expressing openly dependent feelings and needs?

Thank you.
"my question is this: Since the evidence shows that men and women show similar levels of dependency, isn't culture pushing males to go against what God meant to be normal for males by discouraging males from expressing openly dependent feelings and needs?"

Good Morning,

Depending on the society one lives in, in some cultures dependency traits are something that is frowned upon when displayed by men. This is not the case in all cultures i.e. matriarchal.

Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist believed that a well integrated persona is the one where both Anima/Animus (female/male) are equally present. Studies on personality traits have shown that the one of psychological androgyny (differs from physically androgynous) tend to be less depressed.
Culture can definitely dictate what traits are desirable in both genders. Think about consumerism and leadership and how pronounced this "push" becomes.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


If we talk about the culture in The United States from 1975 to present day, culture does tend to frown on men that display dependency traits, right? However, the results from self-report measures and projective measures combined prove that God intended it to be normal and natural for both men and women to display dependency traits, right? Thank you for your assistance.

Not sure if it is God's intend or it's humans interpretation in the times we live in. Either way, it is dictated by the dominant society in the culture that one resides in. You see that the underdog is favored but the top dog is followed.
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