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*Note* This scheduling program was not designed by folks who do a lot with APA Style and unfortunately it defaults to listing authors in alphabetical order. We cannot fix this for this online schedule, but the author orders are posted in the order submitted in the printed program available via pdf here.

Saturday, March 7 • 10:45am - 12:00pm
Feminism, Relationship Satisfaction, and Communication: Can Feminism and Romance Coexist?

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Many people are reluctant to endorse feminist beliefs or to identify as feminists because of the social stigma attached to feminism. Feminist women are often criticized as ugly, aggressive, and man hating (Banziger & Hooker, 1979; Buschman & Lenart, 1996; Goldberg, Gottesdiener & Abramson, 1975; Griffin, 1989; Kamen, 1991; Rudman & Fairchild, 2007). Heterosexual women in particular are reluctant to embrace the label because of the implications such negative attributes could have in their relationships with men. Feminism, however, has been found to have positive effects for individuals and for interpersonal relationships. In particular, feminism has been associated with satisfaction in heterosexual relationships (Hurt et al., 2007; Rudman & Phelan, 2007; Saunders & Kashubeck-West, 2006; Yakushko, 2007; Yoder et al., 2007). This study was designed to explore the role of feminism in heterosexual relationships by assessing participants’ and their partners’ feminist beliefs and identities, and correlating them with scores on the Relationship Satisfaction Scale (McKibbin, Bates, Shackelford, Haken, LaMunyon, 2010), the Primary Communication Inventory (Navran, 1967), and the Sexual Communication Apprehension Scale (Babin, 2012). Overall, it was found that liberal feminist beliefs are particularly influential in heterosexual relationships and related to increased satisfaction and communication, whereas conservative beliefs show the opposite trend. On the other hand, radical feminism, and other types of feminism that similarly focus on societal structures, is related negatively to relationship variables. The effects of gender, experience of sexual harassment, and experience of sexual assault on willingness to endorse feminist beliefs are also evaluated. Although this study indicates that feminism’s role in romantic relationships is complex, it suggests that there are some aspects of feminism that both men and women would be wise to embrace.


Saturday March 7, 2015 10:45am - 12:00pm
Redwood