University of Tasmania

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Sex roles and self-schemas

posted on 2023-05-27, 16:47 authored by Smith, ATH
The psychological measurement of Masculinity-Femininity has been of interest to investigators since at least the mid-1930s. The traditional conceptualization of sex-role identity saw Masculinity and Femininitya~mutually exclusive ends of a single unidimensional sex-role continuum. Major reviews undertaken in the 1970s, however, did not support this approach but, instead, pointed to the multidimensionality of Masculinity-Femininity. In respect, a number of new sex role assessment devices emerged along with the concept of pyschological androgyny. Debate and experimentation ensued until more recently when the notion of schemas, particularly self-schemas for gender, was proposed as an alternative approach to account for sex-role style. The concept of schemas suggests a variety of possibilities in the way gender-relevant knowledge structures may be organized among individuals classified into sexrole categories. Studies by Markus, Crane, Bernstein and Siladi (1982) attempted to determine precisely this organization by comparing the recall of socially desirable (positive) gender-relevant material among subjects designnated into the sex-role categories of masculine, feminine, androgynous and undifferentiated. Among their conclusions was the claim that undifferentiated persons are aschematic with respect to gender. The aim of this present study was to further investigate this claim by examining the nature of recall items in a situation where a set of socially undesirable (negative) sex-correlated attributes were presented in conjunction with the material used by Markus et aZ. (1982). Overall, the results of the present experiment tended to be consistentwith the findings of Markus et aZ. (1982) and, specifically, it was concluded that persons classified as undifferentiated do, in fact, appear to be aschematic with respect to gender.


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Bibliography: leaf 65-71. Thesis (M.Psych.)--University of Tasmania, 1985

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