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Measuring gender differences: The expressive dimension and critique of androgyny scales

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Abstract

This paper calls for a new approach to the measurement of gender similarities and differences in personality. Critiques of current measures that are based on the measurement of stereotypical masculinity and femininity are reviewed, and an alternative measure is presented. It avoids many of the problems in the other scales by measuring expressiveness and instrumentality in such a way that they are not confounded with variables such as independence or autonomy. Results with this measure in five different samples are presented. These confirm our theoretical definitions of expressiveness and instrumentality, and suggest that only the expressive or relational dimension consistently differentiates samples of women and men.

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We thank Mary Rothbart for her insightful and constructive comments on an earlier draft; Leisha Sanders, Marcia DeCaro, Vickie Van Nortwick, and Lyn Cogswell for their clerical assistance; the Center for the Study of Women in Society for financial support; and Liza Kuecker and Patricia Gwartney-Gibbs for providing data used in the analysis. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 1984 annual meeting of the Pacific Sociological Association.

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Gill, S., Stockard, J., Johnson, M. et al. Measuring gender differences: The expressive dimension and critique of androgyny scales. Sex Roles 17, 375–400 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00288142

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