Gender stereotype theory suggests that men are generally perceived as more masculine than women, whereas women are generally perceived as more feminine than men. Several scales have been developed to measure fundamental aspects of gender stereotypes (e.g., agency and communion, competence and warmth, or instrumentality and expressivity). Although omitted in later version, Bem’s original Sex Role Inventory included the items “masculine” and “feminine” in addition to more specific gender-stereotypical attributes. We argue that it is useful to be able to measure these two core concepts in a reliable, valid, and parsimonious way. We introduce a new and brief scale, the Traditional Masculinity-Femininity (TMF) scale, designed to assess central facets of self-ascribed masculinity-femininity. Studies 1-2 used known-groups approaches (participants differing in gender and sexual orientation) to validate the scale and provide evidence of its convergent validity. As expected the TMF reliably measured a one-dimensional masculinity-femininity construct. Moreover, the TMF correlated moderately with other gender-related measures. Demonstrating incremental validity, the TMF predicted gender and sexual orientation in a superior way than trait-based established measures. Furthermore, the TMF was connected to criterion characteristics, such as judgments as straight by laypersons for the whole sample, voice pitch characteristics for the female subsample, and contact to gay men for the male subsample. Additionally, criterion validity of the TMF outperformed other gender-related scales. Taken together, as long as gender differences continue to exist, we suggest that the TMF provides a valuable methodological addition for research into gender stereotypes.
Kachel, Sven, Melanie C. Steffens, and Claudia Niedlich. 2016. “Traditional Masculinity and Femininity: Validation of a New Scale Assessing Gender Roles.” Frontiers in Psychology 7. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00956.
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