Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

No reliable gender differences in attachment across the lifespan

Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburga1 and Marinus H. van IJzendoorna1

a1 Centre for Child and Family Studies, Leiden University, NL-2300 RB Leiden, The Netherlands.


In middle childhood, boys show more avoidant attachments and girls more ambivalent attachments as a prelude to gender differentiation in reproductive strategies. However, we have failed to find systematic and method-independent gender differences in middle or late childhood attachments, nor in adult attachment representations. We conclude that Del Giudice's model rests on a brittle empirical basis.

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