The relationship between codependency and femininity and masculinity
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Psychology
Feminist writers critical of the codependency model have argued that codependency refers to an overly strong conformity to the traditional feminine role. Canonical correlation analysis using data from 192 first-year university students found a moderate association between codependency and gender-role identification. The specific nature of this association varied with different aspects of codependency. External focus (approval seeking) was associated with high scores on the negative aspects of femininity and low scores on positive aspects of masculinity. Self-sacrificing was associated with high positive femininity and low negative masculinity. Women scored higher than men on one aspect of codependency: external focus. Although the data are broadly consistent with a feminist critique of codependency, the relationship between codependency and gender-role identification appears to be more complex than previously suggested.