Gender and willingness to confront hurtful messages from romantic partners

Courtney Waite Miller, Michael Elwood Roloff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Based on a social role perspective, an individual's hurt and willingness to confront a face attack expressed by a romantic partner were hypothesized to vary with gender, type of face attack, and social context. Undergraduates responding to hypothetical scenarios revealed that when teased, women imagined they would be more hurt and more willing to confront their romantic partners’ attacks than did men. Men reported that they likely would perceive less audience support for confrontation than women. Men reported that they would be less likely than women to confront, regardless of social context. The effect of audience support and hurt are independent and both have comparable influence on willingness to confront. Our findings suggest that responses to hurtful messages are related to the messages’ emotional impact and gender norms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-337
Number of pages15
JournalCommunication Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005


  • Gender roles
  • Hurtful messages
  • Insults
  • Interpersonal conflict
  • Teasing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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