Gender and Willingness to Confront Hurtful Messages from Romantic Partners

Miller, Courtney Waite; Roloff, Michael E.
August 2005
Communication Quarterly;Aug2005, Vol. 53 Issue 3, p323
Academic Journal
Based on a social role perspective, an individual's hurt and willingness to confront a face attack expressed by a romantic partner were hypothesized to vary with gender, type of face attack, and social context. Undergraduates responding to hypothetical scenarios revealed that when teased, women imagined they would be more hurt and more willing to confront their romantic partners’ attacks than did men. Men reported that they likely would perceive less audience support for confrontation than women. Men reported that they would be less likely than women to confront, regardless of social context. The effect of audience support and hurt are independent and both have comparable influence on willingness to confront. Our findings suggest that responses to hurtful messages are related to the messages’ emotional impact and gender norms.


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