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Title: Is Sleeping Beauty still slumbering?: An investigation of the feminist critique of modern romanticism
Author(s): Carpenter, Susan Lee
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Rappaport, Julian
Department / Program: Psychology
Discipline: Psychology
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Psychology, Social
Women's Studies
Abstract: Feminists have articulated a critique of women's socialization in a culture of romance which suggests that women seek legitimation as persons through their relationships with men. This study outlines women's socialization in romance as well as the feminist critique, and then investigates characteristics of romantic women, as well as the interplay of romanticism and feminism among 102 single university women who were currently involved in a dating relationship. Partial support was found for the predictions feminists would make about romantic women; their intimate relationships were more characterized by willingness to sacrifice, belief that a woman's love should change a man, imbalance, and respect for their partners. They were more homophobic, more traditionally feminine, younger, and likely to have grown up with two parents in the home than less romantic women. Contrary to expectation, they had higher self-esteem, and higher expectations for academic and career success than less romantic women. The interplay of romanticism and feminism was not as clear as predicted. In general feminist women are less romantic, but many feminist women articulate a very extreme, idealized traditional view of romance. Interviews suggest that while feminist women may articulate a traditional definition of romanticism, they do not buy into this definition. In general, they have redefined romanticism to include more equal roles for women and men. While some feminists reported conflict about their romantic beliefs, as a whole this group was not more conflicted than non-feminist women; they were even less conflicted in some areas. Support was found for the expectation that women are more liberal in their public sex-role attitudes and more conservative in their private attitudes, lending support to the notion that feminism's influence in the private domain has been impeded by the forces of romanticism.
Issue Date: 1996
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/19820
Rights Information: Copyright 1996 Carpenter, Susan Lee
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog: AAI9625116
OCLC Identifier: (UMI)AAI9625116


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