Article

Sex Roles

, Volume 36, Issue 5, pp 305-325

Changes in masculine and feminine traits over time: A meta-analysis

  • Jean M. TwengeAffiliated withUniversity of Michigan

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Abstract

Sixty-three samples providing single-sex means on the Bem Sex-Role Inventory [BSRI; S. L. Bem (1974) “The Measurement of Psychological Androgyny,”Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Vol. 42, pp. 155–162] and 40 reporting similar data on the Personal Attributes Questionnaire [PAQ; J. T. Spence and R. L. Helmreich (1978)Masculinity and Feminity, Austin University of Texas Press] for American undergraduates were located and analyzed. Women’s scores on the BSRI-M and PAQ-M (masculine) scales have increased steadily over time (r’s = .74 and .43, respectively). Women’s BSRI-F and PAQ-F (feminine) scale scores do not correlate with year. Men’s BSRI-M scores show a weaker positive relationship with year of administration (r = .47). The effect size for sex differences on the BSRI-M has also changed over time, showing a significant decrease over the twenty-year period. The results suggest that cultural change and environment may affect individual personalities; these changes in BSRI and PAQ means demonstrate women’s increased endorsement of masculine-stereotyped traits and men’s continued nonendorsement of feminine-steretyped traits.