Sex Roles

, Volume 54, Issue 11–12, pp 767–775 | Cite as

Conforming to Masculine Norms: Evidence for Validity among Adult Men and Women

  • Andrew P. SmilerEmail author
Original Article


Assessment of masculinity as an ideological belief system (MI) has become increasingly popular. Validation of MI measures and subsequent research has relied heavily on undergraduate samples. In the present study, convergent and divergent validity of the Conformity to Masculine Norms Inventory (Mahalik et al., Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 4: 3–25, 2003) were examined among a convenience sample of 688 male and female adults who were divided into four groups (undergraduates, younger adults, middle-aged adults, older adults). Across groups, convergent validity was suggested by consistent relations with sexism, and divergent validity was suggested by consistent nonsignificant relations with masculine attributes. Results suggest that generalizations among male groups can be made with caution and that generalizations to women may be appropriate when the focal constructs are unrelated to women or femininity.


Masculinity ideology gender sex differences sexism femininity 



My thanks to Carolyn Mebert, who taught me to always check my assumptions, Ellen Cohn for suggestions regarding data collection, and the other members of my dissertation committee. Thanks also to Monique Ward, Jim Mahalik, Ron Levant, and several anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions and insights. Finally, my thanks to Meghan Basile, Steve McIsaac, Lynn Reingold, Heather Roy, and Allison Shupe for their help with data collection and data entry.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SUNY OswegoOswegoUSA

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