|dc.description.abstract||The monograph is the result of the search for causes and conditions of well-being in close relation-ships. Some of the intimate relationships are more satisfying than others; they are certainly all heterogeneous, variable, dynamic and interesting. This publication is a voice in a rich discussion of gender, identity, emotionality, social roles and relationship formation. It emphasizes human emotionality as a factor differentiating and bonding close relationships, including intimate ones.
The structure of the monograph reflects the issues which are raised in it: gender – feminin- ity – masculinity – romantic relationships. Numerous attempts to define the sexes and to deter-mine the differences between the sexes against the background of theoretical and ideological dis-putes have been explained. Additionally, the theme of what connects a woman and a man and how they create intimate ties has been taken up. The division of the chapters into Women and Men is, on the one hand, a simple separation of the two genders, and, on the other, an attempt to compare the differences in order to show their meaningfulness, although attempts have been made to avoid stigmatizing simplifications.
The second important task of the monograph is to present our own research against the back-ground of thematically selected international research. The main aim of the research is to show the emotional nature of women and men and its dimensions: disposition (traits) and emotional state in the context of everyday life stress. The issue of stress is related to the difficulties of everyday life, such as: high school exam, examination session and the stress of adult life – overlapping of social roles and obligations. The research assumed that a different type of emotionality associated with sexual conditions will correlate with different styles of reaction to stress and different ways of dealing with stress.
The first chapter presents the theoretical foundations of gender and individual differences. Reflections on the gender phenomenon began with treating it as an indicator of identity. It points out different ways in which an individual influences the surrounding environment – as a wo- man or a man; an individual creates reality in a specific and unique way. Describing gender, we are moving both in the contexts of nature as well as culture, which are familiar with biological threads, but also social references. A person becomes fully oneself through the presence of other important people that shape him or her. He/she creates relationships with others that are mean-ingful to him/her throughout his/her life and often give this life meaning. Hence, the definition of sexuality has been preceded by a description of what identity and constructs of the Self are, as well as by the indication of gender stereotypes in contemporary societies. In this context, individual differences have been treated after Jan Strelau as a common phenomenon characterizing people, leading to the belief that there are no personal traits that would not differentiate individuals in the population. This genetically determined uniqueness, which helps to understand specific forms of human adaptation to the surrounding environment, has been explained mainly on the basis of the functioning of the emotional system in both genders.
Chapters Two and Three, on women and men, are somewhat parallel. Each of them, starting with an explanation of identity-related phenomena, refers to biological, psychological and social perspectives. They highlight the unique dimension of the female interdependent self and the male independent self, as components of the same human nature. In turn, looking at emotional phe-nomena has served to highlight both similarities in some areas and differences in other areas between women and men. The importance of those emotional phenomena that specifically distin-guish between feminine and masculine behaviour has been emphasised, namely: empathy, emo-tional intelligence and involvement in helping others. The importance of experiencing and coping with stress by women and men proved to be important in this context. Both chapters conclude with the presentation of a vision of women and men in the 21st century, in which clear gender-related characteristics are beginning to change – both women and men are taking on the features of a new identity, marked by the cultural phenomena of our times. The phenomena of social roles, achieving professional success, maintaining a balance between family and professional life and sustainable development have been assumed to be crucial.
The fourth chapter presents the results of own research on emotionality and the ways of deal-ing with stress in women and men. It presents the research problem which assumes that there is a link between emotionality, including emotional dispositions and states, and the strategies used to deal with everyday stress in both genders. From the adopted theories of personality and theory of emotion, an assumption has emerged that there is a permanent personality predisposition to respond in a specific way to difficult, problematic or threatening situations. Along with the re-search issues, a description of the method, research tools, selection of persons, the research model and the research variables have appeared. Presenting the results of the research, the emotional nature of women and men, typical ways of coping with stress and the effect of interaction of these two factors in each gender have been characterized. On the basis of the research conclusions, the female and male type of emotionality and the female and male style of reaction in stressful situa-tions have been proposed and compared.
The importance of emotionality in romantic relationships in the 21st century is described in Chapter Five. Starting from the premises related to the contemporary culture of individualism, egalitarianism and individual freedom, one wondered what closeness is. The ideas of freedom and independence have led to two extreme attitudes: the fear of closeness and the fear of rejection and, consequently, the fixation on autonomy to conceal a deep sense of loneliness. Healthy closeness, also known as interdependence, is more than just the sum of the dispositions of the partners. This area of closeness is defined in the monograph as emotionality treated as a particular kind of intrapersonal resource, in the sense of the dominant emotional style: positive (positive resource) or negative (negative resource). In the positive emotional style, empathy plays a unique role, as both cognitive and behavioural component, which leads to greater involvement and satisfaction with the romantic relationship. The complementarity between woman and man is based on this kind of empathy and engagement in the relationship. In view of the widespread feeling of loneli-ness, Martin Buber proposed as an antidote an empathic and caring attitude of responsibility for himself and for others. Ultimately, this chapter emphasises the importance of a balance between family and professional life, which is achieved through changes in the work system that have made it possible to combine tasks from different spheres of life more flexibly. This has led to an increase in the general level of quality of life not only for individuals, but also for their families, and has consequently improved the productivity of valuable workers in many areas of the economy.
The monograph seeks to develop such an approach to the importance of gender-related in-dividual differences that leads to the adoption of gender complementarity as a means of comple-menting in terms of selected characteristics and behaviour (emotional and stress management style). Feminine involvement in conflicts, interpersonal relations, life events, taking responsibil- ity – as a result of emotional attachment and care style – has been pointed out. In turn, the male tactics of withdrawal, distancing, searching for distraction in the face of conflicts and susceptibil-ity to the influence of life events pointed to the emotional style of distancing. These two elements of masculinity and femininity form a complementary system, thanks to which a family and a new life are created. The presented publication stems from the motives of life, passion and work con-cerning romantic relationships and the difficulties these relationships go through, as an attempt to find an answer to the question of a happy life for the two of them, a woman and a man.||pl_PL|