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Title:Women's friendships: Influence of feminism and sexual orientation on Caucasian women's friendship patterns and emotional well-being
Author(s):Taylor, Ellen Baldwin
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Fitzgerald, Louise F.
Department / Program:Women's Studies
Psychology, Clinical
Sociology, Individual and Family Studies
Discipline:Women's Studies
Psychology, Clinical
Sociology, Individual and Family Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Women's Studies
Psychology, Clinical
Sociology, Individual and Family Studies
Abstract:The present study examined the effects of "woman-identification" on women's friendships and subjective well-being by investigating the friendship patterns of nonfeminist heterosexual women, feminist heterosexual women, and feminist lesbians and bisexual women. Three major questions were addressed. First, do feminist and nonfeminist women differ in their friendship patterns, both with men and with women? Second, does sexual orientation interact with feminism in affecting women's friendships? Finally, are these differences in woman-centeredness, reflected in feminism and alternative sexual identities, also reflected in the emotional well-being and interpersonal experiences of women?
Forty-six women completed The Attitudes Toward Feminism Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory, and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. The participants were also interviewed in depth about their friendships. They then completed a "diary" every night for five nights. These diaries allowed participants to describe and make various ratings of three interpersonal interactions that took place during the day. Finally, a brief follow-up interview was conducted focusing primarily on the women's experience participating in the study.
Quantitative and qualitative data analysis indicated that feminism and sexual orientation do affect women's friendship patterns. In addition to differences in the friends they choose, the women reported differences in the quality of their friendships with men and with women. The reasons for these reported differences varied with sexual orientation and feminist identity. The results are discussed in relation to the concept of woman-identification and implications for a variety of research fields are noted.
Issue Date:1994
Rights Information:Copyright 1994 Taylor, Ellen Baldwin
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9512568
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9512568

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