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Gender Influences in Relationships

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A person’s relationships are usually significant contributors to his or her life happiness, well-being, and mental health throughout the life span. At each stage of life, different levels and types of relationships are developed, nurtured, and in some cases, terminated. As Sternberg argues, there are varying types of love that lead to relationships. They are defined by varying levels of intimacy, passion, and commitment in Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love. Specifically, the levels of love include:


    • Liking
    • Companionate love
    • Romantic love
    • Empty love
    • Fatuous love
    • Infatuated love
    • Consummate love


Much of the research on relationships suggests that not only are there varying levels of love that lead to different types of relationships, but how individuals develop, maintain, and live in relationships is dependent upon gender and cultural factors. Relationships are complicated and though there may be norms within specific cultures, the norms across cultures vary significantly. In addition, norms may be changing. And, as with any change, the implications can be far reaching.


To prepare for this assignment:


    • Gender: Psychological Perspectives. Focus on the gender-related differences and similarities in the different levels and types of relationships: friendship, love, dating, marriage and committed relationships, and dissolution of relationships.
    • Select a culturethat is different from your own (which is the United States) . Think about the following questions as you compare this culture to your own. These topics are expansive, so focus on the gender-related role differences for this assignment.
      • What are the gender-related role differences in:
        • Friendship building and maintenance over the life span?
        • Romantic love and dating?
        • Marriage and committed relationships?
        • Termination of committed relationships and marriage?
    • For each of these topics (friendship, romantic love and dating, marriage and committed relationships, and relationship termination), think about how roles may be changing in the two cultures – your own and the one you selected that is different from your own. Think about the impact that these changes might have on society.




The assignment (2–3 pages):


    • Concisely analyze gender-related role differences in two of the following relationship levels and types between your own culture (which is the United States) and a different culture:
      • Friendship
      • Romantic love and dating
      • Marriage
      • Termination of committed relationships
    • Explain how these roles may be changing in these two cultures and how role changes might impact individuals and society.


Support your Application Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation.


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