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Development of the Conformity to Feminine Norms Inventory

Abstract

This article describes the construction of the Conformity to Feminine Norms Inventory (CFNI), which was designed to assess women’s conformity to an array of feminine norms found in the dominant culture in the United States. In addition, we present four studies in which the psychometric properties of the CFNI were examined. In Study 1, factor analysis indicated that the CFNI is comprised of eight distinct factors labeled as Nice in Relationships, Thinness, Modesty, Domestic, Care for Children, Romantic Relationship, Sexual Fidelity, and Invest in Appearance. Results from Study 2 indicated that the CFNI has strong internal consistency estimates and differentiates college women from college men. In addition, Study 2 demonstrated that the CFNI Total score and subscale scores relate to Bem Sex Role Inventory and Feminist Identity Development Scale scores in theoretically consistent patterns. Study 3 indicated that the CFNI Total score and several of the subscales significantly and positively relate to scores on the Eating Disorder Inventory. Finally, Study 4 demonstrated that the CFNI Total score and subscale scores have high test-retest estimates for a 2–3 week period. The discussion focuses on potential uses of the CFNI, limitations to the study, and suggestions for future research.

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Correspondence to James R. Mahalik.

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Mahalik, J.R., Morray, E.B., Coonerty-Femiano, A. et al. Development of the Conformity to Feminine Norms Inventory. Sex Roles 52, 417–435 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-005-3709-7

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Keywords

  • femininity
  • gender roles
  • women
  • feminine norms