The Longing for Mother's Skirt Tails
Even if they don't like to admit it: men are more dependent on the opinions of others than women. At least that's what Robert F. Bornstein, professor of psychology at Gettysburg College, claims. In doing so, he contradicts the stereotypical image of dependent female self-confidence. "According to my research, men have stronger underlying dependency needs than women," says Bornstein.
He analyzed studies on the subject that had been carried out since 1950 and carried out further tests: the subjects were asked to fill out questionnaires about their personality and to interpret various stimuli, such as drawings or inkblots. The analysis showed that although women scored higher on a dependency scale in their self-reports, men scored higher on the indirect test."It seems that men express their dependence more indirectly and more covertly than women do," says Bornstein. "Apparently men can't hide their feelings of dependency on projective tests, but they don't openly admit them."
He notes that over the past few decades, researchers have found a strong link between dependency on others and an increased risk of developing various forms of mental and physical ailments. In social structures, dependency is associated with willingness to cooperate and subservience. “Taken together, the results of this study suggest that addicts look to other people for guidance, protection, and help. They become anxious and depressed or even physically ill when relationships important to them are threatened or even destroyed.”
Bornstein theorizes that societal roles are partly responsible for whether men and women are willing to admit their dependence to themselves and to tests.
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