The structure of masculinity-femininity: Multidimensionality and gender differences

Elyse S. Ratliff1, James Conley2
1Michigan Bell Telephone Co, United States
2Wesleyan University, United States
Cite this article:  Ratliff, E. S., & Conley, J. (1981). The structure of masculinity-femininity: Multidimensionality and gender differences. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 9(1), 41-48.

Volume 9 Issue 1 | e325 | Published: February 1981 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1981.9.1.41

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In an investigation of the structure of sex role self-descriptors, the responses of 176 females and 103 male undergraduates to the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI) were factor analyzed. Seven factors emerged: Personal Warmth, Social Dominance, Autonomy, Affect, M-F, Vulnerability, and Responsibility, four of which are composed of sex-typed BSRI items. Sex differences were found in the scores on the Personal Warmth and M-F factors, and somewhat different factor structures emerged for males than for females. Scores on the Social Dominance factor were found to be very strongly correlated with the androgyny scores of both males and females. The BSRI appears to be heterogeneous in content, and the structure of sex role self-descriptors is more complex than the conception of independent "masculine" and "feminine" dimensions. The analysis of the BSRI according to specific content factors may provide explanations for some of the findings of research on psychological androgyny.
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