Previous research suggests many of the qualities necessary for successful well-being are masculine in nature. However, masculinity and femininity have been considered related constructs as opposed to being distinctly different sex-role characterizations. Therefore, this study examined
the hypothesized associations between sex-role orientation and reports of well-being by looking at the combined and separate contributions of masculinity and femininity reports. Responses from 286 college undergraduates to the BEM Sex Role Inventory (Bem, 1974) and measures of well-being (i.e.,
loneliness (UCLA Loneliness Scale, revised by Russell, Peplau, & Cutrona, 1980), personal discomfort (Personal Discomfort Subscale of the Multiphasic Personality Inventory, Social Introversion-Extroversion Scale, Graham, Schroeder, & Lilly, 1971), self-esteem (Rosenberg Self-Esteem
Scale, Rosenberg, 1965), and social anxiety and avoidance (Social Anxiety and Social Avoidance Scale, Franke & Hymel, 1984) indicated both categorical and continuous measures of sex role were associated with well-being. Examination of sex-role categories revealed participants with masculine
and androgynous orientations reported higher well-being scores than did those with feminine and undifferentiated orientations. Further, examination of separate femininity and masculinity scores indicated that masculinity was positively – and femininity was negatively – associated
with participant reports of well-being. Findings are discussed in terms of considering masculinity and femininity as separate measures of sex-role orientation when examining the association between sex roles and well-being.