ERIC Number: ED246316
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Changing Social Roles Changes BSRI Masculinity and Femininity.
Uleman, James S.; Weston, Martha
The Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI) has come under much criticism relating to the interpretation of the masculinity and femininity scales upon which its four sex role types are based. To investigate the masculinity-femininity construct using the BSRI under standard self-description instructions and under self-description instructions in one of two specific sex roles, two studies were conducted. In the first study, 41 pairs of parents of 4- to 9-month-old infants twice completed the BSRI, the Carey Infant Temperament Questionnaire, a survey of infant behavior, and a description of themselves in the mother/father role. In the second study, 79 college students (47 males, 32 females) completed the BSRI and described themselves as a college student and then in the boyfriend/girlfriend, spousal role. An analysis of the results of both studies showed that self-descriptions on the BSRI were not stable across social roles. In 75% of the cases, when subjects described themselves in the roles of mother or father, student, or boyfriend or girlfriend, their scores on masculinity and femininity changed significantly from their descriptions under standard instructions. Both studies also showed that adopting specific sex roles, such as parent or romantic partner, did not increase sex role traditionalism. The findings support a multidimensional conception of sex roles. Future research should focus on the relationship of specific sex role characteristics to global sex role stereotypes. (BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Bem Sex Role Inventory; Masculinity Femininity Variable; Social Roles
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (Baltimore, MD, April 12-15, 1984).