Dimensions underlying the definition of items as feminine and masculine were examined in a set of three studies. Items chosen by children as belonging to males or females were used as the initial stimuli. These included traditionally stereotyped items such as a hammer and an iron, as well as more metaphorically related items such as bears and flowers. The raters in all three studies were undergraduates (70% White, 30% minorities). In Study 1, the items were rated using a set of 40 common adjectives. Three factors resulted: two related to masculine items and one to feminine items. In Study 2, a subset of the adjectives were used to rate abstract paintings that had been designated feminine or masculine by another group of adults. In Study 3, a set of stimuli were developed using the adjectives from the previous two studies. The items were rated as feminine or masculine and matched the initial coding of the adjective. The new items were also rated on the same adjectives by another set of adults. Again, the masculine adjectives were assigned to masculine items and feminine to feminine items. There was excellent agreement across three different sets of stimuli on the underlying dimensions of gender definition, even using items that were not traditionally stereotyped.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 14, 2004
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