Gender, Power, and Communication in Human Relationships

By Pamela J. Kalbfleisch; Michael J. Cody | Go to book overview

women. It would follow, that alternative satisfactory models may also exist for women and men.

Minimally, it may be enough at the start for women and men to recognize that a sexual undercurrent may be a part of their mentoring relationships. Perhaps, this realization alone may help women and men be more sensitive to the appropriateness of their behavior in their working and helping relationships. Alternately, Heinrich ( 1991) suggested transforming the underlying sexuality of these relationships. She suggested that instead of acting on this sexuality in a physical sense, we should instead use awareness of this sexuality to fire the creativity and energy of this working relationship. Heinrich suggested that perhaps such inspired relationships may be the most productive and invigorating of them all.

In sum, this chapter may actually raise more questions than it answers. Although offering an alternative for empowering women, it does not provide a similar alternative for empowering women and men working together. Two common frameworks for the professional relationships of women and men are discussed; however other models for these relationships could also apply. It is evident that much is yet to be learned about the women and men who work together and who work apart.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

This research was supported by a grant to the first author from the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Study at the University of Kentucky, and by a University Research Grant to the second author from Baylor University. Earlier versions of this manuscript were presented at professional conventions as Kalbfleisch ( 1991; 1994) and Keyton and Kalbfleisch ( 1993a).


REFERENCES

Ball A. L. ( 1989, October). "Mentors & proteges: Portraits of success". Working Woman, pp. 134-142.

Bowen D. D. ( 1985, February). "Were men meant to mentor women"? Training and Development Journal, 39( 2), 30-34.

Brown D. A. ( 1985). "The role of mentoring in the professional lives of university faculty women". Dissertations abstracts international, 47( 1), 160A.

Burgoon J. K., & Hale J. L. ( 1984). "The fundamental topoi of relational communication". Communication Monographs, 51, 193-214.

Burgoon J. K., & Hale J. L. ( 1987). "Validation and measurement of the fundamental themes of relational communication". Communication Monographs, 54( 1), 19-41.

Burke R. J. ( 1984). "Mentors in organizations". Group and Organization Studies, 9( 3), 353-372.

Burke R. J., & McKeen C. A. ( 1990). "Mentoring in organizations: Implications for women". Journal of Business Ethics, 9( 4-5), 317-332.

Bushardt S. C., Fretwell C., & Holdnak B. J. ( 1991). "The mentor/protege relationship: A biological perspective". Human Relations, 44( 6), 619-639.

Collins N. W. ( 1983). "Professional women and their mentors: A practical guide to mentoringfor the woman who wants to get ahead". Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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