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  • Sexual differentiation as a complex indicator of the relationship of spouses

    In recent decades, family research has taken a firm place in the sciences of man and society - sociology, philosophy, demography, psychology. Attentive scientific analysis was subjected to a variety of issues: the distribution of conjugal roles in the family, the particular perception of each other's spouses, the relationship of children and parents, etc. But, undoubtedly, the most popular and discussed topic here is the search for factors that affect the spouses' satisfaction with their marriage. Numerous data obtained in the study of this topic, served as the basis for the creation of American authors R. Levis and Gr. The Spaniard is a kind of perfect descriptive model of the quality of marriage, which makes it possible to highlight the connection with the satisfaction of marriage with almost any characteristic of the spouses, their relationships and the characteristics of the socioeconomic existence of the family. In our opinion, there are a number of circumstances that call into question the approach of these authors to the study of the family.

    First, not all characteristics of the family have the same impact on different families. For example, there are parameters whose change affects the satisfaction with marriage very unambiguously( for example, the difficulties of communication are always affected negatively, the influence of others depends on the type of family, attitudes and interpersonal relations of spouses( for example, according to American data, the influence of a woman's professional activity on the quality of marriage depends onwhether she works because she likes it, or because the family needs money, to what social stratum the married couple belongs, how it relates to a professional coupleIn the second place, the family is not an immutable, stagnant formation, during its existence natural and often global changes take place, covering practically all aspects of its existence, from the characteristics of the relationship of the spouses to the nature of the products consumed by family members.first of all with the realization of the family's function of the birth and upbringing of children. The studies devoted to the problem of the family cycle led to the conclusion that the effect on the family of many factors forISITO matter at what stage of the cycle it is at the moment. At this point, the connections described in the scheme of R. Levis and Gr. Spaniard and wearing an absolute, time-independent character, should be revised.

    Third, most of the characteristics of the family are related to each other. It is difficult to imagine that some family event( for example, the wife's exit to work after a long break caused by the birth of a child) will not entail many others that will be perceived by the couple both positively and negatively( an increase in the amount of money in the family, a decreasetime spent on women's home and children, increasing need for husband's help in the household, etc.).

    Finally, the family At least consists of two people - a husband and wife. The scheme of R. Levis and Gr. Spaniier seems to imply that changing any parameter equally affects the satisfaction of marriage of both. But this is not always the case. The question about how the family as a whole is calculated separately for the husband and wife( especially in a situation where they are significantly different from each other) is worth a long time and yet unrequited. Many authors see a way out of this situation in the creation of special indexes that would take into account the data received from both spouses. But how to create such indexes, what to include in them and what mathematical procedure to use when calculating them?

    In view of the fact that a single independent of other and sufficiently "influential" factor having the same effect on the family at different stages of the cycle( or changing with it) has not yet been found, it seems to us the most effective way of creating complex indicators, including groups of linked oneswith another variable.

    Many authors express their views on the importance and at the same time about the close connection between each other parameters that characterize the distribution and realization of conjugal roles in the family. The fact that they are connected with the sex of the spouses, that is, with the biological foundations of the family, emphasizes their importance and basic character, allows us to consider them as the determinant of many intrafamily processes. The complex indicator, which takes into account both the real distribution of roles in the family, and the attitude of the spouses to it, has received in the literature the name of gender-role differentiation. Polar role differentiation( DPS) in a broad sense is determined on the basis of the following characteristics: 1) the representation of the spouses on the roles of men and women( sex-role settings);2) the representation of the spouses on the distribution of roles in the family( private sex facilities);3) role behavior of spouses( real distribution of roles);4) gender identity( femininity-masculinity of spouses).The spectrum of the PRD forms is quite wide, but the main ones are: traditional, antitraditional and equal, each of which is characteristic for the corresponding type of family. Traditional DD is inherent in families where the duties of spouses are strictly related to their gender( for a woman - caring for the home and raising children, for a man - material support for the family and maintaining contact with the outside world), and each of them considers such a situation normal and the only possible. Antitraditional DTD is still rare, and is typical for families in Sweden and Finland, where not only the mother, but also the father can take leave to take care of the child. Equal form reflects the situation when both spouses are equally included in the implementation of family roles and responsibilities and when each of them is responsible basically for what is more in tune with his tastes and abilities.

    Unfortunately, studies where the DTD would be taken as a complex variable are rather small. But there are many data that characterize the changes in its components. On some of them we would like to briefly stop here. First of all, these are the results of the interviews of the spouses, indicating changes in the nature of the distribution of roles in the family during the family cycle. Thus, it turned out that the perceived equality in the distribution of roles increases in the later stages of the family cycle. At the same time, the spouses are satisfied with their marriage.

    One of the reasons for the changes observed during the family cycle( and at the same time the factor that has a huge impact on them) is the presence of children and their age. Numerous data indicate that the appearance of a child( especially the first child) leads to a sharp traditionalization of the relationship of the spouses. Naturally, this is mainly due to a change in the position of women, who often express dissatisfaction with the situation developing in the family. Of great interest to us are the results of studies showing that the age of the child affects the distribution of conjugal roles in different ways. Thus, according to some sources, the more rigid traditionalization of relations between spouses coincides with the time of admission of the child to school and the attainment of adolescent age.

    It is interesting that the upbringing of children is determined not only by I).the definition of roles in the family, but also such deep personal characteristics as gender identity. The results of the research indicate that the maximum psychological gender differences in the spouses are observed during the mature stage of the parent( the age of the children does not exceed 15-16 years).

    The above and many other data allow us to conclude that in life there are and alternate periods of amplification and attenuation of the DDT.And the increase is typical for those periods of family life, when serious changes take place in it: the appearance of a child, the beginning of his schooling, etc. These are the periods when the life of a family must inevitably change in order to meet new requirements. We shall conditionally call them the periods of perestroika and we will distinguish them from others, which we call conditionally stable. The growth of the TWP during the periods of perestroika is not difficult to explain: the most adequate way of functioning of any community in the situation of tightening and strengthening requirements is the transition from freedom to rigid structure.

    With the increase in the TWP, the responsibilities of each of the spouses are narrowed, which allows them to be more involved in the implementation of the tasks that directly confront them. Such a differentiation allows the pair as a whole to more successfully solve emerging problems, cope with a large number of tasks and, therefore, should be perceived as "profitable" at certain stages of the family cycle and contribute to increased satisfaction with marriage;the persistence of rigid differentiation, when the need for it has already disappeared( the family has fully adapted to the situation or the problem has decreased), on the contrary, it should lead to a decrease in satisfaction with marriage.

    In order to verify the above assumptions, we conducted a study, the hypotheses of which were the following.

    1. The size of the DWP changes during the family cycle, moreover, in periods when the family is experiencing restructuring( childbirth, starting school, etc.), it is greater than in periods when such changes do not occur( raising a childpreschooler, etc.).

    2. A rigid PRD has a different impact on the spouses' satisfaction with their marriage at different stages of the family cycle: in those cases when it contributes to a more effective family solution to their problems, this influence is positive;in the opposite case, it is negative.

    Table 1

    Note. Groups II and IV-pairs experiencing a period of restructuring;groups I and II - a stable period of relations.

    Methodology. The study was conducted in the form of a written survey of respondents( 103 married couples, see Table 1 for groupings), during which the following methods are used: test settings, questionnaires on the distribution of roles in the family and the characteristics of the daily interaction of spouses, a test for satisfactionmarriage. All methods are created at the Department of Social Psychology of the Faculty of Psychology of Moscow State University.

    All the methods used by us were conditionally allocated to the needs of the blocks: "installations", "roles" and "satisfaction with marriage".Such a selection is determined by the data of previous studies, as well as the very concept of the DWP, where the main emphasis is placed on the role behavior of the spouses and the attitude towards it.(Due to the limitations of one research, masculinity-femininity was not considered by us.)

    The unit of "installation" included 7 scales allowing to reveal the respondent's position on the following issues: 1) preferential orientation towards a sense of duty or pleasure;2) positive or neutral attitude towards children;3) the relation to related ties as to value or vice versa;4) orientation to the predominantly joint( or separate) activity of spouses in various spheres( rest, friends, etc.);5) a positive or negative attitude towards romantic love;6) targeting a traditional or non-traditional view of a woman;7) the idea of ​​the importance of material values ​​in human life. The same block included scales that identify the respondent's attitude to the distribution of roles in the family in the following areas: 1) raising young children;2) emotional climate;3) material security of the family;4) the organization of entertainment;5) involvement in caring for the house;6) sexual relations;7) family subculture.

    The "roles" block included scales that reveal the real distribution of roles in the family in the above seven spheres( the second part of the "installation" block).The same block included scales intended for revealing the following characteristics of family interaction: 1) the activity of upholding one's views;2) evaluation of the activity of the other spouse in upholding his views;3) the level of conflict in the family;4) the constructiveness of marital quarrels;5) the features of reconciliation after the conflict( who is accused of blaming for the conflict);6) the level of communication between spouses;7) tolerance for marital autonomy;8) evaluation of tolerance for the autonomy of the other spouse.

    To measure "satisfaction with marriage", a test for satisfaction with marriage was used.

    Based on the treatment of the subjects' answers, the CPR index was calculated, characterizing the pair as a whole in terms of the degree of traditionality of marital relations. To create this indicator, we took into account 14 parameters that distinguish traditional families from egalitarian ones and thus characterize the degree of family tradition: taking into account the Mackovsky, Kirk Sotak and Rainwater schemes, and also on the basis of a survey of experts( ii.(2), the idea of ​​the need for joint action in any situation( 3), the traditional idea of ​​the role of women in work and at home( 4), the idea that the functions of raising children5) and onthe emotional climate in the family( 6) is predominantly female, and the material support of the family( 7) is male, the only possibility for the husband to uphold their views( 8), and for the wife to obey the situation of disagreement with him( 9), the wife's tolerance forher husband's autonomy( 10) and her husband's intolerance of wife's autonomy( 11), the traditional distribution of roles in the spheres of child rearing( 12), emotional climate( 13), material security( 14).Parameters( 1) -( 7) characterize the settings of the spouses,( 8) -( 14) - reflect the real behavior.

    For each of the 14 parameters, each of the spouses could get 1 or 0 points, depending on whether the answer is "for" or "against" the traditional position by the given parameter;the scores of both spouses were summed up, and as a result, a general TCD index for each family, theoretically varying from 0 to 28, was obtained.

    In addition to the general index, 4 private ones were also counted: 1) only according to the responses of the husband;2) only according to the answers of the wife;3) according to the responses of both spouses to the scales of the "installation" block;4) according to the responses of both spouses to the scales of the block "real behavior".

    Results. The value of the general index of the TWD in the interviewed families ranged from 12 to 19, that is, it represented average values, which is natural for our sample: for urban families with a rather small experience of marriage, where the vast majority of spouses have higher education, the most typical is the egalitarian stylerelations. The average values ​​of the general index for the groups are as follows:

    Group I-14.6;Group II -15.96;Group III-16.33;IV group - 16.26.(It should be taken into account that in group I the value of the index was determined by 13 parameters, since there are no children in these families and the "distribution of roles in children's education" scale was not used. PJ0.05), and the differences in indices in groups II, III and IV are not significant to each other

    These data indicate that in families without a child, the CDP is much less pronounced than in families with a child( regardless of age).essence, this result is only a partial confirmation of theThe first hypothesis is that the value of the TWD does change during the family development cycle, but these changes are not related to transitional or stable periods, but to the presence or absence of a child in the family

    Let us now consider the relation between the magnitude of the TPR and the satisfaction of marriage between men and women. In order to test this hypothesis, let us consider the relationship between the satisfaction of marriage with the value of the TAC first in those groups where the spouses are in a situation of perestroikaeny( II and IV), and then in groups where spouses relatively stable relations( 1 and 111).For more detailed information, we will analyze the relationship of satisfaction with marriage to all 5 indices( "general" and 4 "private").

    1. Consider the results of families in the perestroika period. The data of Table.2 show that in men of groups

    II and IV( children under 1 year old), satisfaction with marriage is positively related to the degree of traditionalization of relations for almost all( except for one) of the indexes of the CDP.This connection does not reach the level of significance, although in group II it approaches it. The only exception is a negative, insignificant connection with the index "according to the answers of the wife"( IV).

    Note.-p & lt;0.05;-p & lt;0.025;-p & lt;0.01; ++++-p & lt;0.05.

    These women have a different look. If in group IV the relationship of marriage satisfaction with the degree of traditionalization for all indices is positive( although insignificant), then in group II it is positively( and insignificantly) connected only with the index "according to the responses of the husband".The rest of the communication indices are negative and insignificant.(Note that the relationship between the satisfaction of the marriage of women of group II is maximal with the index "according to the answers of the wife.")

    Thus, in men from families experiencing "transition" periods, the traditionalization of family relationships is positively associated with the satisfaction of marriage regardless of the child's age. In women, a similar picture is observed only in families with children 7-8 years( IV), and in families with infants( II), the degree of traditionalization has a reverse effect on the satisfaction with marriage.

    2. Results of families experiencing "stable" periods.

    In both groups( I and III) for all 5 indices, the degree of financialization of relationships in both men and women is negatively associated with marital satisfaction. In the group of childless families, all relationships are equally significant( p & lt; 0.005) and for men and women. In group III( children 4-5 years), most of the connections are significant( p & lt; 0.05).Note that in this group, the index of the "according to the husband's responses" with the satisfaction of i & gt; cancer and the husband and wife are negative, but in both cases are insignificant( and the index "according to the wife's responses" is the most significant).

    Thus, in groups representing "stable" periods, both men and women have a similar situation: the traditionalization of relations adversely affects the satisfaction with marriage.

    To get a more complete picture of the changes in marital relations, we also note that the relationship between the male and female satisfaction rates, calculated by the Spearman coefficient, is different in each of the four groups. The magnitude of the correlation coefficient p: group I( without children) is +0.83, group III( children 4-5 years) - +0.58, group II( infants) - + 0.36, group IV( children 7-8years) - +0.29.It can be seen that in "stable" periods, mutual satisfaction with marriage is maximum, and in "transition" periods its level is significantly reduced.

    Discussion. As we have already noted, the specialization( traditionalization) of relations in "transitional" periods contributes to a more effective solution of the tasks facing the family and therefore should be "beneficial" to the family and positively related to the satisfaction of marriage. This is what we observed in the study. True, the obtained connections turned out to be insignificant, but nevertheless the tendency is clearly visible. In the "stable" periods, the traditionalization of relations is no longer justified and should negatively affect the satisfaction with marriage - this is what we got( and most of the connections are meaningful at a high level).This result was to be expected: families in our sample are urban, with a small amount of marriage, most of the spouses have higher education. It is for families of this type that the traditional CDT beyond the "transitional" periods has a negative impact on the satisfaction with marriage.(It can be assumed that the specific forms of such influence are different for men and women.)

    Additional evidence of the different impact of the DDT on marital satisfaction, depending on the stage of family development, can be data on the relationship of these indicators to both men and women in "stable" and "transitional"periods. In the "stable" periods, the spouses' satisfaction with marriage is more consistent( the correlation coefficient is higher) than in the "transitional", perhaps this means that the satisfaction in the second case depends on the husband and wife for various factors related to the actual differentiation of their positions in the family, while in the first case these factors for both spouses are similar( positions are more equal).

    In the "transition" periods only in women in families with infants, the traditional CDT negatively affects the satisfaction with marriage. How can this fact be explained? Probably, a sharp increase in the amount of homework during this period, although natural and expected, but occurs quite sharply and quickly, is difficult to adapt to it, which, apparently, also leaves its imprint on the satisfaction with marriage in women.

    So, we can talk about the confirmation of the second of the hypotheses put forward by us: the PDP has a different effect on the satisfaction with marriage at different stages of the family cycle. In cases where changes in relationships are appropriate and justified by the tasks facing the family, it is positive, if not, negatively, and this influence is specific for men and for women.

    In general, the confirmation of our hypotheses means that at different stages of the life cycle of the family there is one mechanism - sex-role differentiation, but the nature of its action varies. Having thus demonstrated the flexibility of this variable, it is safe to say that the TPS is one of those complex indicators, the use of which allows for a deeper understanding and explanation of the processes taking place in the family.

    In conclusion of this article, I would like to note a few more points that characterize the phenomenon of the CD.First of all, the use of this concept allows for a more multifaceted approach to changes in marital relations, introducing them as changes in the system of joint activities of spouses. Since the CDP is not correlated with any specific manifestations of interpersonal relationships, but with their correlation, the system, it is a kind of "common denominator" of the changes taking place in the family. At the same time, in itself, the DTD, no matter how complex the processes it reflects, is simple enough to study the parameter, one of the ways of counting which was demonstrated in our work.

    The concept of the PRD is correlated not only with the processes occurring in the family, but also with the processes of differentiation and integration in large and small groups. In this sense, studies of the phenomenon of the TWP make it possible to approach the solution of such an important problem as the analysis of the family as a small group.

    Undoubtedly, our approach to the DWP is not the only possible and requires further improvement, in our work we have only tried to demonstrate the possibility of using this indicator for the study of the family at various stages of its development. The tasks of future works are improvement of indices, counting procedures, studying not only traditional, but also other forms of the DWP, etc.

    Our results can be useful at various levels of work with the family: in educational activities, in consulting practice, etc.., as they give an idea of ​​those optimal models of interaction of spouses that can be useful for them during different periods of the family's existence. We emphasize that, unlike the widespread lists of variables positively associated with marriage satisfaction, but which can not be influenced in practical psychological work( it is impossible to change the time of premarital acquaintance of spouses or their personal characteristics), the DTD is fairly easily adjusted, since the spouses' views and the distribution of rolesin the family are characteristics that change as a result of psychological counseling.