The Recalled Childhood Gender Identity/Gender Role Questionnaire: Psychometric Properties

Abstract

This article reports on the psychometric properties of The Recalled Childhood Gender Identity/Gender Role Questionnaire, a 23-item questionnaire designed to measure recalled gender-typed behavior and relative closeness to mother and father during childhood. Five considerations guided its development: (1) scale items should show, on average, evidence for “normative” sex differences or be related to within-sex variation across target groups for which one might expect, on theoretical grounds, significant differences; (2) the items should be written in a manner such that they could be answered by both men and women; (3) the items should provide coverage of a range of gender-typed behaviors, including those that capture core aspects of the phenomenology of gender identity disorder in children; (4) the items should be abstract enough such that the description of the underlying construct would not be tied to a specific object or activity that might have been common during one period of time but not another, thus affording greater ecological validity across a large age range and birth cohorts; and (5) the questionnaire should be short enough that it would have practical utility in broader research projects and in clinical settings. A total of 1305 adolescents and adults (735 girls/women; 570 boys/men), with a mean age of 33.2 years (range=13–74), completed the questionnaire. Factor analysis identified a two-factor solution: Factor 1 consisted of 18 items that pertain to childhood gender role and gender identity, which accounted for 37.4% of the variance, and Factor 2 consisted of three items that pertain to parent–child relations (closeness to mother and father), which accounted for 7.8% of the variance. Tests of discriminant validity were generally successful in identifying significant between-group variation.

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Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kenneth J. Zucker.

Additional information

Earlier versions of this article were presented at the meeting of the International Academy of Sex Research, Barrie, Ontario (August 1991) and Hamburg, Germany (June 2002). Dr. Mitchell died on March 16, 2000, and we dedicate this article to her memory.

Appendix: The Recalled Childhood Gender Identity/Gender Role Questionnaire (form for males)

Appendix: The Recalled Childhood Gender Identity/Gender Role Questionnaire (form for males)

Instructions

Please answer the following questions about your behavior as a child, that is, the years “0 to 12.” For each question, circle the response that best describes your behavior as a child. Please note that there are no “right or wrong” answers.

  1. 1.

    As a child, my favorite playmates were

    1. a.

      always boys (5)

    2. b.

      usually boys (4)

    3. c.

      boys and girls equally (3)

    4. d.

      usually girls (2)

    5. e.

      always girls (1)

    6. f.

      I did not play with other children

  2. 2.

    As a child, my best or closest friend was

    1. a.

      always a boy (5)

    2. b.

      usually a boy (4)

    3. c.

      a boy or a girl (3)

    4. d.

      usually a girl (2)

    5. e.

      always a girl (1)

    6. f.

      I did not have a best or close friend

  3. 3.

    As a child, my favorite toys and games were

    1. a.

      always “masculine” (5)

    2. b.

      usually “masculine” (4)

    3. c.

      equally “masculine” and “feminine” (3)

    4. d.

      usually “feminine” (2)

    5. e.

      always “feminine” (1)

    6. f.

      neither “masculine” or “feminine”

  4. 4.

    Compared to other boys, my activity level was

    1. a.

      very high (5)

    2. b.

      higher than average (4)

    3. c.

      average (3)

    4. d.

      lower than average (2)

    5. e.

      very low (1)

  5. 5.

    As a child, I experimented with cosmetics (make-up) and jewelry

    1. a.

      as a favorite activity (1)

    2. b.

      frequently (2)

    3. c.

      once-in-a-while (3)

    4. d.

      very rarely (4)

    5. e.

      never (5)

  6. 6.

    As a child, the characters on TV or in the movies that I imitated or admired were

    1. a.

      always girls or women (1)

    2. b.

      usually girls or women (2)

    3. c.

      girls/women and boys/men equally (3)

    4. d.

      usually boys or men (4)

    5. e.

      always boys or men (5)

    6. f.

      I did not imitate or admire characters on TV or in the movies

  7. 7.

    As a child, I enjoyed playing sports such as baseball, hockey, basketball, and soccer

    1. a.

      only with boys (5)

    2. b.

      usually with boys (4)

    3. c.

      with boys and girls equally (3)

    4. d.

      usually with girls (2)

    5. e.

      only with girls (1)

    6. f.

      I did not play these types of sports

  8. 8.

    In fantasy or pretend play, I took the role

    1. a.

      only of boys or men (5)

    2. b.

      usually of boys or men (4)

    3. c.

      boys/men and girls/women equally (3)

    4. d.

      usually of girls or women (2)

    5. e.

      only of girls or women (1)

    6. f.

      I did not do this type of pretend play

  9. 9.

    In dress-up play, I would

    1. a.

      wear boys’ or men’s clothing all the time (5)

    2. b.

      usually wear boys’ or men’s clothing (4)

    3. c.

      half the time wear boys’ or men’s clothing and half the time wear girls’ or women’s clothing (3)

    4. d.

      usually wear girls’ or women’s clothing (2)

    5. e.

      wear girls’ or women’s clothing all the time (1)

    6. f.

      I did not do this type of play

  10. 10.

    As a child, I felt

    1. a.

      very masculine (5)

    2. b.

      somewhat masculine (4)

    3. c.

      masculine and feminine equally (3)

    4. d.

      somewhat feminine (2)

    5. e.

      very feminine (1)

    6. f.

      I did not feel masculine or feminine

  11. 11.

    As a child, compared to other boys my age, I felt

    1. a.

      much more masculine (5)

    2. b.

      somewhat more masculine (4)

    3. c.

      equally masculine (3)

    4. d.

      somewhat less masculine (2)

    5. e.

      much less masculine (1)

  12. 12.

    As a child, compared to my brother, I felt

    1. a.

      much more masculine (5)

    2. b.

      somewhat more masculine (4)

    3. c.

      equally masculine (3)

    4. d.

      somewhat less masculine (2)

    5. e.

      much less masculine (1)

    6. f.

      I did not have a brother [Note: If you had more than one brother, make your comparison with the brother closest in age to you.]

  13. 13.

    As a child, I

    1. a.

      always resented or disliked my sister (1)

    2. b.

      usually resented or disliked my sister (2)

    3. c.

      sometimes resented or disliked my sister (3)

    4. d.

      rarely resented or disliked my sister (4)

    5. e.

      never resented or disliked my sister (5)

    6. f.

      I did not have a sister [Note: If you had more than one sister, make your comparison with the sister closest in age to you.]

  14. 14.

    As a child, my appearance (hair style, clothing, etc.) was

    1. a.

      very masculine (5)

    2. b.

      somewhat masculine (4)

    3. c.

      equally masculine and feminine (3)

    4. d.

      somewhat feminine (2)

    5. e.

      very feminine (1)

    6. f.

      neither masculine or feminine

  15. 15.

    As a child, I

    1. a.

      always enjoyed wearing dresses and other “feminine” clothes (1)

    2. b.

      usually enjoyed wearing dresses and other “feminine” clothes (2)

    3. c.

      sometimes enjoyed wearing dresses and other “feminine” clothes (3)

    4. d.

      rarely enjoyed wearing dresses and other “feminine” clothes (4)

    5. e.

      never enjoyed wearing dresses and other “feminine” clothes (5)

  16. 16.

    As a child, I was

    1. a.

      emotionally closer to my mother than to my father (1)

    2. b.

      somewhat emotionally closer to my mother than to my father (2)

    3. c.

      equally close emotionally to my mother and to my father (3)

    4. d.

      somewhat emotionally closer to my father than to my mother (4)

    5. e.

      emotionally closer to my father than to my mother (5)

    6. f.

      not emotionally close to either my mother or to my father

  17. 17.

    As a child, I

    1. a.

      admired my mother and my father equally (3)

    2. b.

      admired my father more than my mother (4)

    3. c.

      admired my mother more than my father (1)

    4. d.

      admired neither my mother nor my father (2)

  18. 18.

    As a child, I had the reputation of a “sissy”

    1. a.

      all of the time (1)

    2. b.

      most of the time (2)

    3. c.

      some of the time (3)

    4. d.

      on rare occasions (4)

    5. e.

      never (5)

  19. 19.

    As a child, I

    1. a.

      always felt good about being a boy (5)

    2. b.

      usually felt good about being a boy (4)

    3. c.

      sometimes felt good about being a boy (3)

    4. d.

      rarely felt good about being a boy (2)

    5. e.

      never felt good about being a boy (1)

    6. f.

      never really thought about how I felt being a boy

  20. 20.

    As a child, I had the desire to be a girl but did not tell anyone

    1. a.

      almost always (1)

    2. b.

      frequently (2)

    3. c.

      sometimes (3)

    4. d.

      rarely (4)

    5. e.

      never (5)

  21. 21.

    As a child, I would tell others I wanted to be a girl

    1. a.

      almost always (1)

    2. b.

      frequently (2)

    3. c.

      sometimes (3)

    4. d.

      rarely (4)

    5. e.

      never (5)

  22. 22.

    As a child, I

    1. a.

      always felt that my mother cared about me (1)

    2. b.

      usually felt that my mother cared about me (2)

    3. c.

      sometimes felt that my mother cared about me (3)

    4. d.

      rarely felt that my mother cared about me (4)

    5. e.

      never felt that my mother cared about me (5)

    6. f.

      cannot answer because I did not live with my mother (or know her)

  23. 23.

    As a child, I

    1. a.

      always felt that my father cared about me (1)

    2. b.

      usually felt that my father cared about me (2)

    3. c.

      sometimes felt that my father cared about me (3)

    4. d.

      rarely felt that my father cared about me (4)

    5. e.

      never felt that my father cared about me (5)

    6. f.

      cannot answer because I did not live with my father (or know him)

Form for females

  1. 1.

    As a child, my favorite playmates were

    1. a.

      always boys (1)

    2. b.

      usually boys (2)

    3. c.

      boys and girls equally (3)

    4. d.

      usually girls (4)

    5. e.

      always girls (5)

    6. f.

      I did not play with other children

  2. 2.

    As a child, my best or closest friend was

    1. a.

      always a boy (1)

    2. b.

      usually a boy (2)

    3. c.

      a boy or a girl (3)

    4. d.

      usually a girl (4)

    5. e.

      always a girl (5)

    6. f.

      I did not have a best or close friend

  3. 3.

    As a child, my favorite toys and games were

    1. a.

      always “masculine” (1)

    2. b.

      usually “masculine” (2)

    3. c.

      equally “masculine” and “feminine” (3)

    4. d.

      usually “feminine” (4)

    5. e.

      always “feminine” (5)

    6. f.

      neither “masculine” or “feminine”

  4. 4.

    Compared to other girls, my activity level was

    1. a.

      very high (1)

    2. b.

      higher than average (2)

    3. c.

      average (3)

    4. d.

      lower than average (4)

    5. e.

      very low (5)

  5. 5.

    As a child, I experimented with cosmetics (make-up) and jewelry

    1. a.

      as a favorite activity (5)

    2. b.

      frequently (4)

    3. c.

      once-in-a-while (3)

    4. d.

      rarely (2)

    5. e.

      never (1)

  6. 6.

    As a child, the characters on TV or in the movies that I imitated or admired were

    1. a.

      always girls or women (5)

    2. b.

      usually girls or women (4)

    3. c.

      girls/women and boys/men equally (3)

    4. d.

      usually boys or men (2)

    5. e.

      always boys or men (1)

    6. f.

      I did not imitate or admire characters on TV or in the movies

  7. 7.

    As a child, I enjoyed playing sports such as baseball, hockey, basketball, and soccer

    1. a.

      only with boys (1)

    2. b.

      usually with boys (2)

    3. c.

      with boys and girls equally (3)

    4. d.

      usually with girls (4)

    5. e.

      only with girls (5)

    6. f.

      I did not play these types of sports

  8. 8.

    In fantasy or pretend play, I took the role

    1. a.

      only of boys or men (1)

    2. b.

      usually of boys or men (2)

    3. c.

      boys/men and girls/women equally (3)

    4. d.

      usually of girls or women (4)

    5. e.

      only of girls or women (5)

    6. f.

      I did not do this type of pretend play

  9. 9.

    In dress-up play, I would

    1. a.

      wear boys’ or men’s clothing all the time (1)

    2. b.

      usually wear boys’ or men’s clothing (2)

    3. c.

      half the time wear boys’ or men’s clothing and half the time wear girls’ or women’s clothing (3)

    4. d.

      usually wear girls’ or women’s clothing (4)

    5. e.

      wear girls’ or women’s clothing all the time (5)

    6. f.

      not do this type of play

  10. 10.

    As a child, I felt

    1. a.

      very masculine (1)

    2. b.

      somewhat masculine (2)

    3. c.

      masculine and feminine equally (3)

    4. d.

      somewhat feminine (4)

    5. e.

      very feminine (5)

    6. f.

      I did not feel masculine or feminine

  11. 11.

    As a child, compared to other girls my age, I felt

    1. a.

      much more feminine (5)

    2. b.

      somewhat more feminine (4)

    3. c.

      equally feminine (3)

    4. d.

      somewhat less feminine (2)

    5. e.

      much less feminine (1)

  12. 12.

    As a child, compared to my sister (closest to you in age), I felt

    1. a.

      much more feminine (5)

    2. b.

      somewhat more feminine (4)

    3. c.

      equally feminine (3)

    4. d.

      somewhat less feminine (2)

    5. e.

      much less feminine (1)

    6. f.

      I did not have a sister [Note: If you had more than one sister, make your comparison with the sister closest in age to you.]

  13. 13.

    As a child, I

    1. a.

      always resented or disliked my brother (1)

    2. b.

      usually resented or disliked my brother (2)

    3. c.

      sometimes resented or disliked my brother (3)

    4. d.

      rarely resented or disliked my brother (4)

    5. e.

      never resented or disliked my brother (5)

    6. f.

      I did not have a brother [Note: If you had more than one brother, make your comparison with the brother closest in age to you.]

  14. 14.

    As a child, my appearance (hair-style, clothing, etc.) was

    1. a.

      very feminine (5)

    2. b.

      somewhat feminine (4)

    3. c.

      equally masculine and feminine (3)

    4. d.

      somewhat masculine (2)

    5. e.

      very masculine (1)

    6. f.

      neither masculine or feminine

  15. 15.

    As a child, I

    1. a.

      always enjoyed wearing dresses and other “feminine” clothes (5)

    2. b.

      usually enjoyed wearing dresses and other “feminine” clothes (4)

    3. c.

      sometimes enjoyed wearing dresses and other “feminine” clothes (3)

    4. d.

      rarely enjoyed wearing dresses and other “feminine” clothes (2)

    5. e.

      never enjoyed wearing dresses and other “feminine” clothes (1)

  16. 16.

    As a child, I was

    1. a.

      emotionally closer to my mother than to my father (5)

    2. b.

      somewhat emotionally closer to my mother than to my father (4)

    3. c.

      equally close emotionally to my mother and to my father (3)

    4. d.

      somewhat emotionally closer to my father than to my mother (2)

    5. e.

      emotionally closer to my father than to my mother (1)

    6. f.

      not emotionally close to either my mother or to my father

  17. 17.

    As a child, I

    1. a.

      admired my mother and my father equally (3)

    2. b.

      admired my father more than my mother (1)

    3. c.

      admired my mother more than my father (4)

    4. d.

      admired neither my mother nor my father (2)

  18. 18.

    As a child, I had the reputation of a “tomboy”

    1. a.

      all of the time (1)

    2. b.

      most of the time (2)

    3. c.

      some of the time (3)

    4. d.

      on rare occasions (4)

    5. e.

      never (5)

  19. 19.

    As a child, I

    1. a.

      always felt good about being a girl (5)

    2. b.

      usually felt good about being a girl (4)

    3. c.

      sometimes felt good about being a girl (3)

    4. d.

      rarely felt good about being a girl (2)

    5. e.

      never felt good about being a girl (1)

    6. f.

      never really thought about how I felt being a girl

  20. 20.

    As a child, I had the desire to be a boy but did not tell anyone

    1. a.

      almost always (1)

    2. b.

      frequently (2)

    3. c.

      sometimes (3)

    4. d.

      rarely (4)

    5. e.

      never (5)

  21. 21.

    As a child, I would tell others that I wanted to be a boy

    1. a.

      almost always (1)

    2. b.

      frequently (2)

    3. c.

      sometimes (3)

    4. d.

      rarely (4)

    5. e.

      never (5)

  22. 22.

    As a child, I

    1. a.

      always felt that my mother cared about me (5)

    2. b.

      usually felt that my mother cared about me (4)

    3. c.

      sometimes felt that my mother cared about me (3)

    4. d.

      rarely felt that my mother cared about me (2)

    5. e.

      never felt that my mother cared about me (1)

    6. f.

      cannot answer because I did not live with my mother (or know her)

  23. 23.

    As a child, I

    1. a.

      always felt that my father cared about me (1)

    2. b.

      usually felt that my father cared about me (2)

    3. c.

      sometimes felt that my father cared about me (3)

    4. d.

      rarely felt that my father cared about me (4)

    5. e.

      never felt that my father cared about me (5)

    6. f.

      cannot answer because I did not live with my father (or know him)

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Zucker, K.J., Mitchell, J.N., Bradley, S.J. et al. The Recalled Childhood Gender Identity/Gender Role Questionnaire: Psychometric Properties. Sex Roles 54, 469–483 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-006-9019-x

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Keywords

  • Gender identity
  • Gender role
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity disorder
  • Sex differences
  • Assessment