Sex Roles

, Volume 14, Issue 5–6, pp 335–350 | Cite as

Gender-role conflict scale: College men's fear of femininity

  • James M. O'Neil
  • Barbara J. Helms
  • Robert K. Gable
  • Laurence David
  • Lawrence S. Wrightsman


Gender-role conflict exists when gender roles have negative consequences for people. This research reports initial validity and reliability data on measures of gender-role conflict for men. Two measures, Gender Role Conflict Scale I and II (GRCS-I and GRCS-II) were constructed to assess patterns of gender-role conflict described in the literature. GRCS-I assesses men's personal gender-role attitudes, behaviors, and conflicts. GRCS-II assesses men's gender-role conflicts in specific gender-role conflict situations. Both GRCS measures and the Personal Attributes Questionnaire (PAQ) were administered to male college students (N=527). Initial factor-analytic data for GRCS-I and GRCS-II demonstrated eight meaningful factors. Acceptable test-retest and internal consistency reliabilities were found for both measures. MANOVA, ANOVA, and Tukey procedures indicated differences for subjects across the four PAQ categories. Significant gender-role conflict differences across the factors were found for men who were instrumental, expressive, or both instrumental and expressive. Results of these differences are reported, as well as implications for future development of both scales.


Internal Consistency Gender Role Reliability Data Internal Consistency Reliability Role Conflict 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bem, S. L. The measurement of psychological androgyny. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1974, 42, 115–162.Google Scholar
  2. Boehm, F. The femininity-complex in men. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 1930, 11, 444–469.Google Scholar
  3. Cronbach, L. J., & Meehl, P. E. Construct validity in psychological tests. Psychological Bulletin, 1955, 52, 281–302.Google Scholar
  4. David, D. S., & Brannon, R. The forty-nine percent majority: The male sex role. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1976.Google Scholar
  5. Doyle, J. A. The male experience. Dubuque, Ia.: William C. Brown, 1983.Google Scholar
  6. Doyle, J. J., & Moore, R. J. Attitudes toward the male's role scale (AMR): An objective instrument to measure attitudes toward the male's sex role in contemporary society. JSAS Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology, 1978, 8, 35.Google Scholar
  7. Farrell, W. The liberated man. New York: Bantam Books, 1974.Google Scholar
  8. Fasteau, M. F. The male machine. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1974.Google Scholar
  9. Garnets, L., & Pleck, J. H. Sex role identity, androgyny, and sex role transcendence: A sex role strain analysis. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 1979, 3, 270–283.Google Scholar
  10. Hays, H. R. The dangerous sex: The myth of feminine evil. New York: Pocket Books, 1964.Google Scholar
  11. Horney, K. Feminine psychology. New York: W. W. Norton, 1967.Google Scholar
  12. Johnson, R. A. He: Understanding masculine psychology. New York: Harper & Row, 1977.Google Scholar
  13. Jung, C. G. Animus and anima. Collected works (Vol. 7). New York: Pantheon, 1953.Google Scholar
  14. Jung, C. G. Concerning the archetypes, with special reference to the anima concept. Collected works (Vol. 9, Part I). New York: Pantheon, 1954.Google Scholar
  15. Komarovsky, M. Dilemmas of masculinity: A study of college youth. New York: W. W. Norton, 1976.Google Scholar
  16. Lederer, W. The fear of women. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich, 1968.Google Scholar
  17. Levinson, D. J., Darrow, C. H., Klein, E. B., Levinson, M. H. & McKee, B. The seasons of a man's life. New York: Ballantine Books, 1978.Google Scholar
  18. Menninger, K. Love against hate. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich, 1970.Google Scholar
  19. Nichols, J. Men's liberation: A new definition of masculinity. New York: Penguin Books, 1975.Google Scholar
  20. Nunnally, J. C. Psychometric theory (2nd Ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill, 1978.Google Scholar
  21. O'Neil, J. M. Male sex-role conflicts, sexism, and masculinity: Psychological implications for men, women and the counseling psychologist. The Counseling Psychologist, 1981, 9, 61–80. (a)Google Scholar
  22. O'Neil, J. M. Patterns of gender role conflict and strain: The fear of femininity in men's lives. The Personal and Guidance Journal, 1981, 60, 203–210. (b)Google Scholar
  23. O'Neil, J. M. A measure of men's fear of femininity: A rationale and initial statement. Paper presented at the annual convention of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA), Cincinnati, Ohio, March 1981. (c)Google Scholar
  24. O'Neil, J. M. Gender and sex role conflict and strain in men's lives: Implications for psychiatrists, psychologists, and other human service providers. In K. Solomon & N. Levy (Eds.), Men in transition: Theory and therapy. New York: Plenum Press, 1982.Google Scholar
  25. O'Neil, J. M., & Fishman, D. Adult men's career transitions and gender role themes. In Z. Liebowitz & D. Lea (Eds.), Adult career development: Concepts, issues, and practices. Alexandria, Va.: American Association for Counseling and Development Press, in press.Google Scholar
  26. O'Neil, J. M., Helms, B. A., Gable, R., David, L., & Wrightsman, L. Data on college men's gender role conflict and strain. Storrs, Conn.: University of Connecticut, Department of Educational Psychology, 1985. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. 248488)Google Scholar
  27. Pleck, E. H., & Pleck, J. The American man. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1980.Google Scholar
  28. Pleck, J. The myth of masculinity. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1981.Google Scholar
  29. Pleck, J. H., & Sawyer, J. Men and masculinity. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1974.Google Scholar
  30. Rummel, R. J. Applied factor analysis. Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 1970.Google Scholar
  31. Scher, M. (Ed.). Counseling men [Special Issue]. Personnel and Guidance Journal, 1981, 60(4).Google Scholar
  32. Skovholt, T., Gormally, A., Schauble, P., & Davis, R. Counseling men. Monterey, Calif.: Brooks/Cole, 1980.Google Scholar
  33. Solomon, K., & Levy, N. Men in transition: Theory and therapy. New York: Plenum Press, 1982.Google Scholar
  34. Spence, J. T., & Helmreich, R. L. The attitudes toward women scale: An objective instrument to measure attitude toward rights and roles of women in contemporary society. JSAS Catalogy of Selected Documents in Psychology, 1972, 2, 66.Google Scholar
  35. Spence, J. T., & Helmreich, R. L. Masculinity and femininity: Their psychological dimensions, correlates, and antecedents. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1978.Google Scholar
  36. Spence, J. T., & Helmreich, R. L. Masculine instrumentality and feminine expressiveness: Their relationship with sex role attitudes and behaviors. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 1980, 5, 147–163.Google Scholar
  37. Spence, J. T., Helmreich, R. L., & Stapp, J. The personal attributes questionnaire: A measure of sex-role stereotypes and masculinity-femininity. JSAS Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology, 1974, 4, 43.Google Scholar
  38. Spence, J. T., Helmreich, R. L., & Stapp, J. Ratings of self and peers on sex role attributes and their relation to self-esteem and conceptions of masculinity and femininity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1975, 32, 29–39.Google Scholar
  39. Vaillant, G. E. Natural history of male psychological health. Archives of General Psychiatry, 1974, 31, 15–22.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • James M. O'Neil
    • 1
  • Barbara J. Helms
    • 1
  • Robert K. Gable
    • 1
  • Laurence David
    • 2
  • Lawrence S. Wrightsman
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of ConnecticutStorrs
  2. 2.Iowa State UniversityUSA
  3. 3.University of KansasUSA

Personalised recommendations