Sex Roles

, Volume 36, Issue 9–10, pp 655–663 | Cite as

The Generalizability and Construct Validity of the Modern Sexism Scale: Some Cautionary Notes

  • Janice D. Yoder
  • Theodore W. McDonald


Our purposes are to explore the generalizability of the Modern Sexism Scale [J. T. Swim et al. (1995) “Sexual and Racism: Old-Fashioned and Modern Prejudices,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 68, pp. 199–214] beyond mostly white, traditionally aged undergraduates and to extend analyses of its construct validity. Fourteen African American and 32 white women firefighters nationwide, having previously completed an extensive mail survey, were followed up with the Modern Sexism Scale. A four-factor solution, low inter-item correlations, and a low coefficient alpha argue against combining the 8-items of the scale. Racial differences on one item and in response variances as well as correlations with age, years of service, and education caution against handily overgeneralizing scale usage beyond students. Coherent patterns of interrelationships among Modern Sexism items and other personality, attitudinal, work experiential, and gender identity scales suggest strong convergent validity.


Construct Validity Convergent Validity Gender Identity Mail Survey Cautionary Note 
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. American Statistical Index. (1992). Bethesda, MD: Congressional Information Services.Google Scholar
  2. Glick, P., & Fiske, S. T. (1996). The Ambivalent Sexism Inventory: Differentiating hostile and benevolent sexism. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 491–512.Google Scholar
  3. Gordon, C. (1968). Self-conceptions: Configurations of content. In C. Gordon & K. J. Gergen (Eds.), The self in social interaction. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  4. Gurin, P., & Markus, H. (1989). Cognitive consequences of gender identity. In S. Skevington & D. Baker (Eds.), The social identity of women. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  5. Hanisch, K. A. (1992). The Job Descriptive Index revisited: Questions about the question mark. Journal of Applied Psychology, 77, 377–382.Google Scholar
  6. Pierce, J. L., Gardner, D. G., Cummings, L. L. & Dunham, R. B. (1989). Organization-based self-esteem: Construct definition, measurement, and validation. Academy of Management Journal, 32, 622–648.Google Scholar
  7. Rotter, J. B. (1966). Generalized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement. Psychological Monographs, 80, 1–28 (Whole No. 609).Google Scholar
  8. Smith, P. C., Kendall, L. M., & Hulin, C. L. (1969). The measurement of satisfaction in work and retirement. Chicago: Rand McNally.Google Scholar
  9. Spence, J. T. (1993). Gender-related traits and gender ideology: Evidence for a multi-factorial theory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 624–635.Google Scholar
  10. Spence, J. T., & Helmreich, R. (1978). Masculinity and femininity: Their psychological dimensions, correlates, and antecedents. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  11. Swim, J. K., Aikin, K. J., Hall, W. S., & Hunter, B. A. (1995). Sexism and racism: Old-fashioned and modern prejudices. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 199–214.Google Scholar
  12. U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board. (1987). Sexual harassment of federal workers: An update. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  13. Yoder, J. D. (1994). Looking beyond numbers, The effects of gender status, job prestige, and occupational gender-typing on tokenism outcomes. Social Psychology Quarterly, 57, 150–159.Google Scholar
  14. Yoder, J. D., & Aniakudo, P. (1995). The responses of African American women firefighters to gender harassment at work. Sex Roles, 32, 125–137.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janice D. Yoder
    • 1
  • Theodore W. McDonald
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeUSA

Personalised recommendations