Journal of Adult Development

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 155–163 | Cite as

Men’s and Women’s Change and Individual Differences in Change in Femininity from Age 33 to 85: Results from the Intergenerational Studies

  • Constance J. Jones
  • Harvey Peskin
  • Norm Livson


This investigation illustrates men’s and women’s change in femininity, and individual differences in change in femininity from early (age 33 or 35) to late (age 78 or 85) adulthood. Members of three long-term longitudinal samples (total N = 327) provided California Psychological Inventory (CPI) Femininity scale scores, collected a maximum of five times. Application of longitudinal hierarchical linear modeling indicates: (1) both men and women show significant variability in initial level and change in femininity, (2) gender predicts both individuals’ initial level and change in femininity—the average man, initially low in femininity, becomes significantly higher in femininity across the lifespan; the average woman, initially high in femininity, becomes significantly lower in femininity across the lifespan, (3) change in femininity is unconnected to marital or parental status, and (4) change in femininity is connected to psychological health level for women only—more psychologically healthy women show a decline in femininity, while less healthy women increase their femininity level. Overall, results support Jung’s androgyny hypothesis of a cross-over of gender roles in men and women, but do not support Gutmann’s hypothesis that such cross-over is tied to “parental emergency.” Additional exploration of the data indicates Gough and Bradley’s (1996) CPI-derived personality types also predict femininity initial level for women and femininity change for men.


Femininity California Psychological Inventory Jung Gutmann Hierarchical linear Modeling 



Thanks to the Institute of Human Development, University of California, Berkeley for access to its archival data and to anonymous reviewers as well as Carolyn Aldwin, Ravenna Helson, Robert Levine, and Lynnette Zelezny for their helpful comments on an earlier version of this paper. This research was supported by funds given to the first author from National Institute on Aging grant R03 AG17280-01 and College of Science and Mathematics, California State University, Fresno.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Constance J. Jones
    • 1
  • Harvey Peskin
    • 2
  • Norm Livson
    • 2
  1. 1.California State University, FresnoFresnoUSA
  2. 2.University of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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