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Subject Social Psychology and Personality » Psychology of Gender

Key-Topics masculinities

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631202899.1996.x


Originally masculinity and femininity were conceived of as representing ends of a single continuum. Recent research suggests that masculinity and femininity are independent dimensions, each being broadly defined by multiple domains including appearance, behavior, personality, and interests. Many instruments exist to measure masculinity and femininity, but most ask individuals only about their personality characteristics. Individuals who claim both masculine and feminine characteristics are considered to be psychologically androgynous ( see androgyny ). A central issue has been how strongly the domains considered to be masculine and feminine relate to one another. Bem (1974) has argued that the domains are highly related, and that masculinity and femininity relate to many other aspects of gender -related behavior. In contrast, Spence and Helmreich (1980) have argued that the domains are not strongly related, and that measures of masculinity typically assess instrumentality, whereas measures of femininity typically assess expressiveness. As such, each should predict within this more narrow range. Thus far, the narrower approach has stronger empirical support than the broader approach. See also: gender . ( 1974 ). The measurement of psychological androgyny . Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology , 42 , 155 – 62 . ( 1980 ). Masculine instrumentality and feminine ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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