Sex Roles

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 173-182

First online:

ISRO: A scale to measure sex-role orientation

  • Nancy A. DreyerAffiliated withSchool of Public Health, University of North Carolina
  • , Nancy Fugate WoodsAffiliated withDuke University and University of North Carolina
  • , Sherman A. JamesAffiliated withSchool of Public Health, University of North Carolina

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Sex-role research has been hampered by a lack of valid and reliable research tools to measure the construct being studied. This article describes the development of a research scale (ISRO) to measure women's sex-role orientation. This 16-item questionnaire has been shown to be internally consistent and to have fairly high temporal stability over 30 days. The high sensitivity (96.2%) and specificity (95.5%) suggest that it differentiates feminist from traditional women. Three factors assess attitudinal domains of conflict between family responsibilities and having a career; male/female division of household responsibilities; and women's work roles outside the home. Education appears to be the strongest predictor of ISRO scores.