|Abstrakt: ||This work addresses the issue of the consequences that holding positions of power in professional
life may have upon the individual’s sex life. Studies conducted up to now have demonstrated that
the effects of wielding power in one’s professional life may influence the subject in the cognitive,
emotional, and behavioral spheres (Fiske, 1993; Goodwin et al., 2000; Tiedens, 2001; Keltner,
Gruenfeld & Anderson, 2003; Grant & Keohane, 2005; Anderson & Galinsky, 2006). However,
these studies have not yielded extensive information about the interdependencies between power
possession in the career context and the exercise of power in intimate relations and sexual life.
The goal of this work is to analyze the connections between subjective and objective power
in one’s professional position and the functioning of power in intimate sexual relations. The
research that was carried out took into consideration the personal dimensions of power (need for
power, directedness) and those of sexual function (frequency, degree of satisfaction, anxiety,
motivation, dynamics of control in the sexual relation). The research also analyzed the
correspondences that biological and psychological gender have with power in the workplace and
power in sexual relationships.
The study was conducted with the participation of 205 individuals, of whom 100 were
people occupying positions of power in their given occupational roles, and 105 were people
occupying subordinate positions. In order to measure the objective and subjective degrees of power
in the workplace, interviews were conducted eliciting age, sex, income, number of subordinates,
and the Sense of Power Scale (Anderson, John & Keltner, 2012) was also employed. Power as an
element of sexual relations and sexual functioning was established by means of the following
assessment tools: The Multidimensial Sexuality Questionnaire (Snell, Fisher & Walters, 1993), The
Affective and Motivational Orientation Related to Erotic Arousal Questionnaire (Hill & Preston,
1996), Sexual Relationship Scale (Hughes & Snell, 1990), Explicit Power–Sex Measure (Chapleau
& Oswald, 2010) and Implicit Association Test (Greenwald, McGhee & Schwarz, 1998). The
individual aspects of power were assessed according to the Index of Personal Reactions (Bennett,
1988), and Directiveness Scale (Ray, 1976). Gender was diagnosed according to the Psychological
Gender Inventory (Kuczyńska, 1992).
The research which was carried out revealed statistically significant connections between
power in the workplace and the exercise of power in sexual relationships. The exercise of objective
power in a professional organizational structure (e.g. employment in a managerial position) was
correlated with more frequent initiation of sexual activity, with greater assertiveness in the domain
of sexuality, with more frequent acting out of one’s own sexual fantasies, and with a greater
propensity for sexual dominance. Individuals displaying a higher sense of power in the professional
organization they were characterized additionally by exchange approaches in sexual relationships
and a conviction that the power relation is manifested in a sexual act.
The results suggested that a significant role is played by the personal conditions of the
exercise of power. The need of power additionally correlated with the readiness to undertake sexual
activity with the goal of bolstering the feeling of power, a tendency towards sexual domination,
sexual assertiveness and the realization of one’s own sexual fantasies.
In the research, men occupied managerial workplace positions more frequently than did
women; men also earned higher incomes and had greater numbers of subordinates. Men were also
characterized by a greater sense of power in professional relations. More frequently than women,
men seemed to be motivated in their sexual behavior by a desire to bolster their feelings of power;
men also displayed a greater tendency towards sexual domination, more often exhibited exchange
approaches to sexual relations expressed a higher level of sexual assertiveness, more frequently
sought to realize their own sexual fantasies, and likewise more frequently initiated sexual activity.
Psychological masculinity was furthermore correlated with the occupation of managerial
professional positions, with a more instrumental approach to sexual behavior, with higher sexual
self-confidence and with a greater inclination to initiate sexual activity. Psychological femininity
was negatively correlated with size of income, subjective feeling of authority in the workplace, and
tendency to initiate sexual activity.
The conclusions extrapolated from the results of this research may find application in such
areas of applied psychology and medicine as family counseling, marriage counseling, career
counseling, and couples therapy.|