Thinking about gender types: Cognitive organization of female and male types
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SourceBritish Journal of Social Psychology, 42, 2, (2003), pp. 257-280
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI SCP
British Journal of Social Psychology
SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being
We examined the content and dimensional structure of a large and representative sample of gender types. In Study 1, using an open-ended procedure, participants generated 306 different labels for female types (e.g. housewife, feminist, femme fatale, secretary, slob) and 310 for male types (e.g. workaholic, family man, sissy, womanizer, labourer). In Study 2A, a multidimensional configuration of 229 of these male and female types was derived from a free sorting task among a new set of participants. In Study 2B, a subset of types was judged on several dimensions of meaning, which were then fitted into the configuration of types. The most important dimensions in describing the structure of gender types were: young–old, masculine–feminine and traditional–modern. The masculine–feminine dimension showed that the male and female types were largely separated from each other; within each gender category, the types were ordered by their position on the masculine–feminine dimension. Several other aspects of current thinking about men and women are discussed.
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