SHORT REPORT
“Real men” need keepsakes too: both Italian men and women use inanimate objects to cope with separation
 
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1
SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Sopot, Poland
2
University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy
Submission date: 2021-04-06
Final revision date: 2021-06-16
Acceptance date: 2021-06-28
Online publication date: 2021-07-28
Publication date: 2022-04-29
 
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Introduction:
Using tangible objects to alleviate distress contradicts the traditional masculinity that is stereotypically attributed to Italian men. This study tested whether the willingness to use a photograph of a romantic partner as a substitute for that person and as a cue for nostalgia in the situation of unavoidable separation depends on gender and conformity to the traditional masculine norms of Italian adults.

Material and methods:
The study involved 119 Italian adults. Participants were randomly assigned to the separation or the connection condition. Next, they described the willingness to use a photograph of their partner as a substitute and as a cue for nostalgia; then we measured men’s differences in their conformity to masculine norms.

Results:
We did not find support for the hypotheses that gender or traditional masculine norms impede using inanimate objects to regulate emotions.

Conclusions:
It is worth considering photographs as reminders of social bonds that are accessible for both men and women.

 
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