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MASCULINE OR FEMININE OR BOTH Presentation by: Alexandra Sansosti AP Psychology period 5/6.

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Presentation on theme: "MASCULINE OR FEMININE OR BOTH Presentation by: Alexandra Sansosti AP Psychology period 5/6."— Presentation transcript:

1 MASCULINE OR FEMININE OR BOTH Presentation by: Alexandra Sansosti AP Psychology period 5/6

2 Background Masculinity or femininity is use to describe a person’s gender and gender identity. The sex of an individual is biologically determined, but the traits they possess may incorporate both male and female characteristics Early gender studies concluded that gender should be studied on a one- dimensional scale with masculinity one one end and femininity on the other

3 Background Anne Constantinople (1973) Best way to measure masculinity or femininity is with a two-dimension scale that measures masculine and feminine traits at the same time More masculine males and more feminine females are psychologically healthier

4 Background Sandra Bem (Stanford University) born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania More balanced people who can embrace both their masculinity and femininity are healthier and happier Established way to measure gender on a two- dimensional scale Androgynous- individuals who embrace both masculine and feminine characteristics. The study was based on the theories and processes Bem used to assess gender: the Bem Sex-Role Inventory (BSRI)

5 Theoretical Propositions Develop a scale that was actually two separate scales: one to measure masculinity; the other femininity Her scale was based on perceived traits rather than observed traits The score of Bem’s androgynous test resulted from finding the difference between the feminine and masculine scores

6 The Scale List of characteristics/ traits Each characteristic could be rated on a scale of one to seven

7 Masculinity score (column 1) greater than 4.9 Masculinity score (column 1) less than 4.9 Femininity score (column 2) greater than 4.9AndrogynousFemale sex-typed Femininity score (column 2) less than 4.9Male sex-typedUndifferentiated

8 Bem’s Method Item Selection: List of “masculine” and “feminine” attributes from her perspective and asked 100 Stanford undergraduates to also rate the characteristics. from those that were rated Bem chose the top 20 for both masculinity and femininity She also chose some characteristics that were neither considered male nor female(gender neutral) The final list was 60 items- both masculine and feminine traits were intermixed

9 Scoring Key Each item is rated 1-7 (1 being almost never true; 7 being almost always true) Participants then receive three scores: a masculinity score, a femininity score, and an androgyny score

10 Scoring Key (cont’d) The masculinity and femininity scores are calculated as follows: All of the scores for the masculinity/femininity items are added together and divided by 20 to get the average Bem determined the androgyny score by subtracting the masculine score from the feminine score The androgyny score could range from +6 to -6 Androgyny scores closest to zero represent the most androgyny

11 Results Reliability: Internal consistency was very high- 20 masculine items/ 20 feminine items were measuring only one trait Bem re-administered the test to about 60 of the original participants a month after the first testing and the scores correlated very highly from both tests.

12 Results Validity: Bem wanted to test to be sure that masculinity and femininity were being measured as different things. She did so by creating a correlation of both the masculine and feminine scales- this clearly proved the scales were unrelated

13 Results To verify that masculine and feminine characteristics were the factors being tested, Bem analyzed the scores for men and women separately The result that men scored a higher masculinity and women scored a higher femininity was statistically significant

14 Results Bem found that a large number of the participants were androgynous. 35% of Males and 29% of females were determined to be androgynous

15 Social Effects In general, since the beginning of the psychological studies on gender, cultures have become more accepting of androgynous individuals and career paths Many more women are holding professional positions traditionally reserved for men, and many men are staying at home and raising children. Gender discrimination and expectation is still a major problem in modern society; men are still expected to be very assertive and women are presumably more emotional and sensitive The importance of Bem’s research was that it cultivated further research in gender studies

16 Conclusions/ Subsequent Research Androgynous individuals seem to be more readily adjusted to diverse scenarios and have a higher self-esteem Also it has been suggested that androgynous individuals have more successful heterosexual relationships because they more easily understand the other person Recent research has even suggested that androgynous individuals are happier and healthier, psychologically.

17 Conclusions/ Subsequent Research Researchers have argued that androgyny in Bem’s scale suggests more masculinity than an even distribution of masculinity and femininity. Because masculine traits are often seen as more desirable and feminine traits less desirable by society, people with more masculine traits may be seen as androgynous.

18 Conclusions/ Subsequent Research This idea has led researchers to modify the scale to four dimensions: Desireable feminine traits. undesirable feminine traits, desireable masculine traits, and undesirable masculine traits This new modification led to many more potential test results

19 Conclusions/ Subsequent Research Bem has continued her research in the field in addition to her development of the BSRI A study in the late 1990s was conducted to determine whether or not the traits Bem has coined as “masculine” or “feminine” were still thought to be so by modern society. only two of the 60 traits were found to be outdated- “Childlike” and “loyal”- both were feminine on the BSRI, but were found to be androgynous in the 1998 study.

20 Conclusions/ Subsequent Research The previously noted study was conducted at a Southern US university When another study was done at Northeastern US university, the results were drastically different: women said that only 1 of 20 “masculine” traits were more desirable for males; 2 of 20 feminine items were more desirable for women Men said that only 13 of 20 “masculine” traits were more desirable for men;7 of 20 feminine items were more desirable for women


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