Sex Roles [sers] pp702-sers-457023 December 9, 2002 11:49 Style ﬁle version June 3rd, 2002
Sex Roles, Vol. 47, Nos. 9/10, November 2002 (
Gender Role Development in Japanese Culture: Diminishing
Gender Role Differences in a Contemporary Society
and Emiko Katsurada
This paper presents the development of the Japanese Gender Role Index (JGRI) and Japanese
men’s and women’s self-ratings on the scale. Two hundred ninety-six Japanese words that
describe masculine and feminine characteristics were gathered. Examination of endorsements
by 200 Japanese participants indicated 66 items as socially desirable characteristics for either
men or women in the society. The validation process, including social desirability ratings,
factor analysis, and conﬁrmatory factor analysis, identiﬁed 2 subscales with 10 items for each.
Internal consistency and the means and standard deviations of social desirability ratings for the
subscales were also examined. Self-ratings on the JGRI by 423 Japanese participants showed
that there was no signiﬁcant difference between men and women on feminine and masculine
characteristics. It was also found that both men and women possessed an equivalent amount
of masculine and feminine characteristics.
KEY WORDS: gender roles; Japanese; masculinity; femininity.
Gender stereotypes are products of cultures.
The idea of cultural difference in gender roles
has been supported by numerous studies (Basow,
1984; Chia, Moore, Lam, Chuang, & Cheng, 1994;
Lara-Cantu & Navarro-Arias, 1987; Moore, 1999;
Novakovic & Kidd, 1988; Ward & Sethi, 1986;
Williams, Satterwhite, & Best, 1999). For example, a
study of the Personal Attitudes Questionnaire (PAQ;
Spence & Helmreich 1978) with Fiji high school
and college students (Basow, 1984) showed a small
percentage of gender-typed individuals and a mini-
mal difference in gender-typing patterns between the
sexes. Similar ﬁndings were reported in a study done in
Yugoslavia in which a high percentage of the undiffer-
entiated types were found among university students
(Novakovic & Kidd, 1988).
Gender stereotypes change over the years along
with societal changes. Studies of occupational choices
Long Beach, California.
Akita University, Akita, Japan.
To whom correspondence should be addressed at 3532 Carfax
Avenue, Long Beach, California 90808; e-mail: yokosugihara@
by boys and girls have demonstrated that boys se-
lected a greater variety of occupations than did girls
in the beginning of the 1970s. Popular occupations
for girls in the 1970s were teaching and nursing,
whereas boys selected a wide variety of occupa-
tions (Looft, 1971; Siegel, 1973). A shift slowly oc-
curred in the late 1970s and 1980s. By then, there
was no difference between boys and girls on num-
ber of occupations selected (Kriedberg, Butcher, &
White, 1978; MacKay & Miller, 1982; O’Keefe &
Hyde, 1983). In the 1990s, researchers reported a
reversal of the original situation, with girls select-
ing more occupations than did boys (Phipps, 1995;
Trice, Hughes, Odom, Woods, & McClellan, 1995).
Changes in occupational choices of girls and boys
over the years clearly reﬂect societal changes as well
as changes in gender stereotypes in the American
Numerous researchers have investigated gen-
der stereotypes cross-culturally (Chia, Moore, Lam,
Chuang, & Cheng, 1994; Lara-Cantu & Navarro-
Arias, 1987; Lobel, Slone, & Winch, 1997; Ward &
Sethi, 1986). A limitation of previous studies lay
in the scale used to examine gender stereotypes in
2002 Plenum Publishing Corporation