What is Androgyny?
Displaying a balance of masculine and feminine characteristic’s in one’s personality
What does BSRI stand for?
Bem Sex Role Inventory
What is the BSRI?
The first systematic attempt to measure androgyny using a rating scale of 60 traits (20 masculine, 20 feminine and 20 neutral) to produce scores across two dimensions: masculinity-femininity and androgynous-undifferentiated
What is the evaluation for BSRI?
The scale appears valid and reliable
Association between androgyny and psychological well-being
Oversimplifies a complex concept
Cultural and historical bias
Evaluation point: The scale appears valid and reliable
Scale developed by asking 50 male and 50 female judges to rate 200 traits in terms of desirability for men and women. The traits that were highest scorers became the 20 masculine and 20 feminine. It was then piloted with over 1000 students and the results corresponded with the participants description of gender identity.
This suggests a degree of validity.
Evaluation point: Association between androgyny and psychological well-being
Bem placed great emphasis on the idea that androgynous individuals are more psychologically healthy as they can deal with situations that demand a masculine, feminine or androgynous response.
Adams and Sherer have argued that people who display a greater proportion of masculine traits are better adjusted as these are more highly valued in Western society.
This suggests Bem’s research may not have taken adequate account of the social an cultural context.
Evaluation point: Oversimplifies a complex concept
It is suggested that gender identity is too complex to be reduced to a score. The PAQ replaces Bem’s fem-masc dimension with instrumentality and expressivity. However this is still based on the idea that gender identity can be quantified.
Golombok has claimed that gender identity is a more global concept than the scales suggest. In order to understand gender identity more fully broader issues must be considered
Evaluation point: Cultural and historical bias
BSRI developed over 40years ago and typical behaviours have changed significantly. Bem’s scale is made of stereotypical ides that are outdated and lack temporal validity.
Also the scale was devised using a panel of judges from the US, their notions of gender identity may not be shared across all societies.