Masculinity, femininity and fear of success



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The concept of 'Fear of Success' (FOS) was introduced by Horner (1968) as a stable motive in women, within an expectancy x value theory of motivation (Me Clelland, Atkinson, Clark and Lowell, 1953). Subsequent research, which stemmed mainly from a bi-polar approach to masculinity and femininity, failed to substantiate her theory. The present study examined the relationship between masculinity, femininity and FOS using the more recent uni-polar approach to the concepts of masculinity and femininity. Twenty-five male and 25 female students took a TAT for FOS (Tresemer, 1974) and the Personal Attributes Questionnaire (Spence and Helmreich, 1974). Multiple regression analysis showed no relationship between masculinity, femininity and FOS. One important finding, however, was a qualitative difference in the stories written by males and females. These differences indicate the need for future research dealings with the FOS measure as it pertains to male versus female normative psychology.



Fear of success, Femininity, Masculinity