Are people's notions of maleness more stereotypically framed than their notions of femaleness?
- Cite this article as:
- Hort, B.E., Fagot, B.I. & Leinbach, M.D. Sex Roles (1990) 23: 197. doi:10.1007/BF00289866
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In the present research, 400 undergraduates were asked to describe their various construals of the male and female stereotypes using a modified form of the Personal Attributes Questionnaire (PAQ; Spence, Helmreich, & Stapp, 1974). Half of these subjects described their construals in terms of personality trait-adjectives and half described their construals in terms of appearance trait-adjectives. One-fourth of each subject pool were females describing males, one-fourth were females describing females, one-fourth were males describing females, and one-fourth were males describing males. All construals were scored such that each was depicted by a single score of stereotypicality ranging from nonstereotypic to extremely stereotypic. The scores from the various construals of the male and female stereotypes were averaged within subject and target groups, and the group means were compared for significant patterns of difference. Regardless of whether the subjects described the stereotypes in terms of personality trait-adjectives or in terms of appearence trait-adjectives, construals of maleness were framed more stereotypically than were construals of femaleness. In addition, construals of maleness were framed in particularly more stereotypic terms by females when the descriptions were phrased in terms of appearance trait-adjectives. Finally, the social construal of the male stereotype (“How does society view males?”) was more stereotypically framed by females using both personality and appearance adjectives, while the ideal construal male stereotype (“Describe your ideal male”) was more stereotypically framed by males using both personality and appearance adjectives.