January 1976

Wish To Be Held and Wish To Hold in Men and Women

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tenn.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1976;33(1):49-51. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1976.01770010029005

• The present study focuses on the wish to be held and the wish to hold in men and women and is based on data collected from both a questionnaire and interviews. It was assumed that cultural sex-role stereotypes would influence the results. More specifically, it was postulated that men would find it easier to acknowledge and discuss their wish to hold rather than their wish to be held, but our data did not support this postulation. The chief differences between men and women were the trend for women to favor being held over holding and the much more sizeable group of women than men who were extremely high scorers on the body contact scale. Men, at least those who are psychiatric patients, can acknowledge their longings to be held, but the intensity of this feeling either does not reach the height attained by some women or, if it does, it is not reported.