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Feminist Identity and Attitudes toward Assertive Behavior: Explaining the Relationship between Sex-Role Orientation and Assertive Behavior
Karolyn J. Budzek
Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Berry Undergraduate Honors Program
University of Dayton May, 2003
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 2 Table of Contents
Introduction..............................................................................................................3 Sex-Role Identity and Mental Health ......................................................................5 Assertiveness............................................................................................................8 Explaining the Link between Assertiveness and Sex-Role Orientation ................12 Attitudes Toward Assertiveness ....................................................................12 Feminist Identity ............................................................................................13 The Current Study..................................................................................................14 Method ...................................................................................................................15 Participants.....................................................................................................15 Measures ........................................................................................................15 Procedure .......................................................................................................17 Results....................................................................................................................18 Discussion ..............................................................................................................21 References..............................................................................................................24 List of Tables .........................................................................................................33 List of Appendices .................................................................................................34
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 3 Feminist Identity and Attitudes toward Assertive Behavior: Explaining the Relationship between Sex-Role Orientation and Assertive Behavior
Assertiveness is considered to be a socially desirable trait. Associated with males and masculinity, assertiveness is often included in sex-role measures as an element of masculinity (Bem, 1974; Berzins, Welling, & Wetter, 1978; Spence, Helmreich, & Stapp, 1975). In contrast, stereotypical femininity is defined in part by an unassertive interpersonal style. As is expected, a strong correlation is found in many studies between assertiveness and masculinity (Adams & Sherer, 1985; Lohr & Nix, 1982; Nix, Lohr, & Stauffacher, 1980; Rodriguez, Nietzel, & Berzins, 1980). For instance, Nix et al. found that whereas masculinity predicted scores on self-report measures of assertiveness, femininity and one’s actual gender did not. Masculinity has been touted as the ideal gender role orientation for positive mental health and adjustment (Long, 1986; Spence, 1984; Taylor & Hall, 1982; Whitley, 1985). Masculine supremacy in predicting positive outcomes is attributed to the greater value of masculine traits in American society (Bassoff & Glass, 1982; Bernard, 1980; Kelly & Worell, 1978; Whitley, 1984). This is in contrast to the findings of similar studies rating androgyny (high masculinity, high femininity) as the ideal (Bem, 1974; Jones, Chernovetz, & Hansson, 1978; Kaplan, 1980; Spence et al., 1975). The results of numerous studies involving self-report measures of social skills and behaviors have favored masculine over androgynous or feminine gender-role orientations (Adams & Sherer, 1985; Campbell, Steffen, & Langmeyer, 1981; Nix, Lohr, & Mosesso, 1983; Nix et al., 1980; Robins, 1986).
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 4 Femininity is regarded - at best - as irrelevant to mental health, and in many cases as a predictor of mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, drug impairment, and general passivity (Antill & Cunningham, 1979; Aube, Norcliffe, Craig, & Koestner, 1995; Bassoff & Glass, 1982; Markstrom-Adams, 1989). The lack of masculinity has been implicated in mental illness and distress more so than the presence of femininity (Bromberger & Matthews, 1996; Robins, 1986; Whitley, 1983, 1985; Whitley & Gridley, 1993). Several sources, however, have provided evidence of significant associations between femininity and positive aspects of mental health including interpersonal satisfaction, low alcohol consumption, pleasure capacity, and agreeableness (Aube et al., 1995; Frisch & McCord, 1987; Lubinski, Tellgen, & Butcher, 1983; Zeldow, Daugherty, & Clark, 1985, 1987, 1989). Feminist identity can also contribute to assertiveness, as feminist women are generally perceived as more androgynous than traditional females (Fowler, Fowler, & Van de Riet, 1973; Jordan-Viola, Fassberg, & Viola, 1976; Leventhal & Matturo, 1981). Feminists show a high level of collective self-esteem (i.e. self-esteem derived from membership in a group), a factor adding to the probability of positive mental health (Smith, 1999; Stoppard & Paisley, 1987). Another element predicting assertive behavior is one's feelings and perceptions regarding assertive behavior. Ease of assertive performance is associated with masculinity, while distress in assertion and negative thoughts about being assertive are associated with femininity (Arrindell et al., 1997; Frisch & McCord, 1987; Woolfolk & Dever, 1979). This is often seen as the social norm: assertive males and passive females. Women are not traditionally expected to exhibit assertive behavior. Because others may see assertive behavior as unfeminine,
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 5 highly feminine women may be reluctant to engage in such behaviors. Women are also less positively evaluated than men for similarly assertive behavior (Cowan & Koziej, 1979; Gervasio & Crawford, 1989). The current study explores the relationship between assertive behaviors, attitudes toward assertiveness, sex-role orientation, and feminist identity through a series of selfreport questionnaires. Specifically, I hypothesize that a positive relationship exists between masculinity and assertive behavior, and no relationship exists between femininity and assertive behavior. Additionally, I hypothesize that when attitudes toward assertiveness and feminist identity are statistically controlled, the relationship between masculinity and assertiveness will be reduced.
Sex-Role Identity and Mental Health Identifying the causes and predictors of psychological disorders is vital to effective diagnoses and treatment. Similarly, known correlations between a personality trait and psychosocial adjustment help therapists develop or discourage these aspects of a client's personality. The relationship of gender role identity and mental health, unfortunately, is not always clear. The link between depression and gender role identity has been studied in great detail. Initially, a correlation between gender and depression was assumed. Although twice as many female patients are diagnosed with clinical depression than males (Blehar & Oren, 1995), many argue this is due to learned helplessness, degree of comfort seeking help, victimization, or lower social status (Radloff & Rae, 1979, 1981; Nolen-Hoeksema, 2001; Depue & Monroe, 1978). Research by Landrine (1988) indicated that when
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 6 subjects described the personality of DSM-III descriptions, depressive disorders were labeled as women, and severe depressive disorders were described as married women. Later studies found gender role identity is a better predictor than gender of depression. Femininity positively correlates with depression (Sanfilipo, 1994; Stoppard & Paisley, 1987). Implicated in depression also is the lack of masculinity, with androgynous subjects showing less instances of depression (Lengua & Stormshak, 2000; Sanfilipo, 1994). This presents femininity not in a more positive light, but merely as irrelevant. Factors other than gender role account for significant portions of the variance, including life stress, support systems, and self-esteem (Feather, 1985; Dua, 1993; Lubinski, Tellgen, & Butcher, 1981, 1983; Stoppard & Paisley, 1987). In a study by Feather (1985), a significant negative correlation between masculinity and depression was reduced to non-significance when controlled for level of self-esteem, suggesting perhaps that societal values play a large role by reinforcing instrumental, masculine characteristics. Similarly, Radloff and Rae (1979) found that women were more depressed than men at similar levels of life stress. They further interpreted these depressive symptoms to be caused by women's vulnerability due to their feminine gender role socialization. Whitley and Gridley (1993) find that self-esteem and masculinity are correlated predictors of depression, and self-esteem is the mediator of the masculinitydepression relationship. It is possible, therefore, that intrapsychic and interpersonal skills may be developed that could make masculinity and femininity unimportant in assessing and treating depression. A survey of studies relating psychological well-being and gender role identity shows most consistently that masculinity is negatively correlated with interpersonal
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 7 behaviors such as hostility and avoidance (e.g. Markstrom-Adams, 1989; Marsh & Byrne, 1991; Nezu & Nezu, 1987). Studies involving the NEO-PI-R report that masculinity is strongly negatively correlated with neuroticism (e.g. Jones, Chernovetz, & Hansson, 1978; Kimlicka, Sheppard, Sheppard, & Wakefield, 1988; Lippa & Connelly, 1990; Whitley & Gridley, 1993; Zeldow, Clark, & Daugherty, 1985). The perceived superiority of masculine traits is often attributed to their greater behavioral value in American society (Bassoff & Glass, 1982; Bernard, 1980; Kelly & Worell, 1978). Independence, self-sufficiency, and athleticism hold special worth in an individualistic culture, and a person possessing these characteristics is often reinforced for these behaviors. A person low in masculinity may be socially devalued, and one would expect to find evidence of reduced self-esteem or possibly psychological maladjustment (Feather, 1985). It may not be the lack of masculine personality characteristics that contributes to depressive symptoms, then, but instead decreased selfworth and lack of social reinforcement. Numerous studies have uncovered a negative relation between masculinity and social maladjustment, although femininity, for the most part, has shown to be unrelated (Aube et al., 1995; Markstom-Adams, 1989; Taylor & Hall, 1982; Whitley, 1988). This masculinity model of mental health is challenged by androgyny in its additive form (e.g. Bem, 1974; Campbell, Steffen, & Langmeyer, 1981; Cook, 1985; Hall & Taylor, 1985), suggesting that femininity has a role in positive mental health. Indeed, femininity has been correlated with agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness to experience, and low psychoticism (Francis & Wilcox, 1997; Lippa & Connelly, 1990; Marusic & Bratko, 1998; Ramanaiah & Detwiler, 1992). Feminine persons have higher
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 8 levels of dyadic adjustment, and are less likely than persons high in masculinity to overestimate the quality of their interpersonal relationships and behavior (Aube et al., 1995). Androgynous persons are considered to be the best of both gender roles: better adjusted, more adaptive, and psychologically healthier (Bem, 1974). The additive model of androgyny holds that masculinity and femininity are separate constructs, and scoring both high in masculinity as well as femininity produces androgyny. The androgynous person, therefore, is more adaptive and can better tailor their personality and reactions to each situation, since they have access to a broader and more dynamic range of coping skills (e.g. Campbell et al., 1981; Renk & Creasey, 2003). A large portion of researchers, however, do not share this belief in the merits of androgyny. Whitley and Gridley (1993) failed to find significant relationships between femininity and the Five-Factor model of personality. Taylor and Hall (1982) suggest that androgynous individuals are not at an advantage compared to masculine individuals regarding psychological distress. Based on a review of the literature, it seems the current prevailing view appears to be that of the masculinity model, denying that femininity is a significantly influential factor in positive mental health.
Assertiveness Assertiveness and assertive behaviors have been studied and correlated with a broad range of other constructs. Extraversion, of which assertiveness is an element, has been linked to well-being in a number of different studies, across demographic and geographic variables (Costa & McCrae, 1980; Diener, Sandvik, Pavot & Fujita, 1992; Lu & Shih, 1997). In a study by Herringer (1998) relating facets of extraversion to life
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 9 satisfaction, the only significant predictor of life satisfaction for males was assertiveness. In a study by Kern and Paquette (1992), female undergraduates with assigned roommates evaluated their roommate on several interpersonal qualities and behaviors. Higher levels of self-reported assertive behavior were associated with roommates’ perceptions of greater social competency and likeability. Additionally, Eskin (2003) reports that adolescents who score high in self-report measures of assertiveness also report having more friends and receiving more social support. In a structured naturalistic assessment, low-assertive participants experienced more anxiety and personal sacrifice during a conflict resolution situation than highassertive participant (Delamater & McNamara, 1985, 1991). People scoring low in assertiveness often take significantly longer to respond to questions about themselves, their opinions, and their preferences, even when cognitive ability was controlled, suggesting a possible lack of clarity regarding their own attitudes, opinions, preferences, goals, and priorities (Collins, Powell, & Oliver, 2000). Students with higher levels of assertiveness and academic self-efficacy report fewer adjustment problems, and high assertiveness scores were also associated with less loneliness (Poyrazli, 2001). In addition, assertive people of both genders are more likely to be hired than nonassertive or aggressive people, regardless of the sex-role stereotypes of the interviewer (Gallois, Callan, & Palmer, 1992). Nix, Lohr, & Stauffacher (1980) examined the relationship between sex, sex-role orientation, and a self-report measure of assertiveness. Of these factors, masculine sexrole orientation was the only single predictor of the assertiveness measure, accounting for 52% of the variance. Nix, Lohr, & Mosesso (1984) replicated this finding – a strong
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 10 positive correlation between masculinity and assertiveness – with both self-report measures and role-play measures of assertion. This masculinity – assertiveness relationship is well replicated in the literature. Avsec (2002) confirmed American sex-role stereotypes with a Slovenian sample. The trait of assertiveness was significantly correlated with the ‘average male,’ or masculine person. Specific female populations participating in assertiveness training (i.e. agoraphobics, alcoholics) scored higher in masculinity subsequent to the training, further demonstrating the connection between assertiveness and masculinity (Haimo & Blitman, 1985; Roth, 1996). In a study relating adolescents’ self-perceived outspokenness and sex-role orientation, Radin (2000) also found a positive correlation between ratings of outspokenness and assertiveness, and masculine sex-role orientation. Further, Bryant (1998) investigated the relationship between self-efficacy and sex-role orientation with self-report questionnaires. Agentic elements of the self-efficacy scale, such as SelfAssertive Efficacy, were the best predictors of masculinity. In a study by Wallace (1997) examining the relationship of social assertiveness, dating-related aggression, and sexrole, social assertiveness was a significant predictor of a masculine sex-role orientation. Certainly masculinity and assertiveness are extremely strongly related, but it is not intuitive that therefore one must possess all aspects of masculinity to be assertive. Twelve of the twenty feminine items on the Bem Sex-Role Inventory (Bem, 1974), however, are relevant to a lack of assertion in the domains of communication, responsivity to others, and influenceability. The twenty masculine items include independent, strong personality, forceful, self-sufficient, willing to take a stand, and even “assertive.” Assertive behavior is thus a sex-role violation for the feminine person,
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 11 especially a feminine woman who is less positively evaluated for assertion than her feminine male counterpart. For instance, a study by Cowan and Koziej (1979) involved participants evaluating audiotapes of spousal interactions. Dominant behavior by the wife was described as much more masculine and less feminine than identical behavior performed by the husband. The wife’s submissive behavior, however, was not described as more feminine and less masculine than the husband’s submissive behavior. Further, the dominant man’s behavior was attributed mostly to situational factors, although the dominant woman’s behavior was attributed to internal causes such as mood or personality. A review of the literature shows, however, that femininity is often unrelated to assertiveness, instead of negatively correlated as once might expect (i. e. Avsec, 2002; Nix et al., 1984; Sazan, 1995). The additive androgyny model of sex-role orientation may explain this finding: femininity is not the opposite of masculinity, but another domain entirely. Masculinity involves agentic characteristics such as assertive behavior, while femininity contains more communal aspects of personality. In a study by Wildman and Clementz (1986), participants viewed male and female models responding to interactions in an assertive or non-assertive manner. Male participants rated the assertive models of both genders as masculine or androgynous, whereas female participants rated assertive models as masculine. Gervasio & Crawford (1989) suggest, in a meta-analysis of assertiveness research, that the costs of assertive behavior for women may be largely linguistic, such as verbal attack, inattention, pointed silence, joking, or off-task remarks.
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 12
Explaining the Link between Assertiveness and Sex-Role Orientation Atiitudes Toward Assertiveness In addition to others’ evaluations of assertive behavior, one’s own beliefs and attitudes regarding assertive behavior can play a role in one’s decision to behave in an assertive fashion. In mixed-sex or gender-relevant contexts, beliefs about gender status shape men and women’s assertiveness (Ridgeway, 2001). These beliefs can also create reactions regarding legitimacy that punish assertive women -- especially in leadership roles -- for violating their expected sex-role orientation. In a study by Frisch and McCord (1987), masculine, feminine, and androgynous participants displayed similar levels of assertiveness and conversational skill when their behavior was evaluated by an experimenter. Masculine participants of both genders, however, rated themselves as more skillful and had fewer negative thoughts associated being assertive than feminine participants. Similar results were found with different populations, specifically reporting that distress in initiating assertiveness and distress of assertiveness was significantly negatively correlated with femininity in females (Lubinski, Tellgen, & Butcher, 1981, 1983; Arrindell et. al., 1997). In a study explaining the need for assertiveness trraining in increasing female participation in small mized-sex task discussion, Lewittes and Bem (1985) report than a lack of assertiveness when in the presence of men, rather than any lack of task knowledge or conceptual skill, lowers women’s participation in mixed-sex discussions. This finding could be explained in the same way, that feminine women may feel that assertive behavior makes them appear unfeminine, especially in a mixed-sex context.
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 13 Feminist Identity High levels of feminist identity may also explain the relationship between masculinity and assertiveness. Gender self-identity is defined as the part of an individual’s self-concept derived from being male or female (Burn, 1996). Other researchers have referred to this concept as gender collective self-esteem. There is evidence that many women – especially women high in femininity – are more likely to derive self-esteem from social acceptance sources and interdependence relationships than men or women low in femininity (Carpenter & Johnson, 2001; Cross & Madson, 1997; Josephs, Markus, & Tafarodi, 1992). In a study by Carpenter and Johnson (2001), women’s gender collective self-esteem was strongly related to the value they placed on their gender. Self-esteem was greatest when feminist identity was high and the positive aspects of womanhood were salient. Similarly, high levels of gender self-identity in women and low gender self-identity in men are positively related to support for feminist ideals (Burn, Aboud, & Moyles, 2000). Lesbian women often have higher masculinity scores than heterosexual women. It had previously been theorized that this was a result of lesbian women naturally being more androgynous based on their nontraditional sexual preference. However, when feminist identity scores were controlled statistically, differences in masculinity were reduced to non-significance (Finlay & Scheltema, 1999). These results suggest that feminist ideals are related to a more masculine sex-role, although more in-depth analyses have not yet been produced. Feminist identification is predicted by not having conservative beliefs, and having a positive evaluation of feminists. Self-identified feminists were also more likely to believe in collective action and a merit-based society,
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 14 as well as less likely to believe that feminists are lesbians (Liss, O’Connor, Morosky, & Crawford, 2001). Women may often avoid appearing unfeminine in a mixed-sex context. Earlier, the inhibition of assertiveness around men was discussed. Additionally, female participants given an opportunity to eat a snack – often seen as an unfeminine behavior – while talking to a confederate ate significantly less when paired with a male (Mori, Chaiken, & Pliner, 1987). Possibly, women who have feminist beliefs will not present these beliefs at the risk of violating their feminine gender-role. Alexander and Ryan (1997), for example, noted that several undergraduate women in their study expressed an unwillingness to use a feminist self-label if men were present. The Current Study The present research reexamined the relationship between sex-role orientation and assertiveness, using a series of questionnaires administered to female undergraduates, to determine possible mediating variables of this strong relationship. A strong feminist identity as well as positive beliefs about assertiveness may mediate the relationship between masculinity and assertiveness. That is, high levels of feminism have been correlated with assertiveness, and feminine women often think negatively about acting assertively. Possibly, women who are high in masculinity (masculine or androgynous women) are more likely to be feminist. Part of the strong relationship between masculinity and assertiveness, therefore, may be actually measuring the ability of feminist identity to predict assertive behavior. In this way, women low in masculinity can also be assertive and thus obtain psychosocial benefits related to assertive behavior.
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 15 We hypothesized that (1) a positive relationship would be found between masculinity and assertive behavior, and (2) no relationship would be found between femininity and assertive behavior. Further, we hypothesize that (3) when thoughts about assertiveness and feminist identity were statistically controlled, the relationship between masculinity and assertive behavior would be reduced.
Method Participants Female undergraduate students (N = 79) enrolled in introductory psychology courses at a Midwestern, private university participated in the study. Ages ranged from 18 to 22, (M = 19.4, SD=1.09). Ninety-two percent of the participants were Caucasian, 4% Hispanic, and 4% African-American. The students completed self-report measures for partial course credit. Additionally, a roommate or female friend completed one part of the questionnaire packet rating the participant. Measures Sex-role orientation. The 60-item Bem Sex Role Inventory (Bem, 1974) is a widely used measure that demonstrates good psychometric properties. Twenty of the items are scored as the subscale "Masculinity," including “self-reliant” ”forceful,” and ”competitive”. Twenty of the items are scored as the subscale "Femininity," including ”affectionate,” ”loyal,” and ”cheerful.” The remaining 20 items are gender-neutral and are not scored. Answers are scored on a 7-point likert scale from "Very uncharacteristic of me" to "Very characteristic of me."
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 16 Assertive behavior. The Assertion Inventory (Gambrill & Richey, 1975) consists of a list of forty interpersonal situations requiring some degree of assertiveness. Examples of these situations include "Turn off a talkative friend," "Resist pressure to use drugs," and "Apologize when you are at fault." Participants are asked to rate their degree of discomfort or anxiety with the situation on a 5-point Likert scale from "None" to "Very much." Participants then indicate, in the same forty situations, their probability or likelihood of responding as described if actually in the situation. This probablity was reported on a 5-point Likert scale from "Always do it" to "Never do it." Finally, the respondent circles the items that s/he would prefer to handle more assertively. This measure yields three separate scores: Discomfort in Assertiveness, Response Probability, and Identification of Situations. Both the participant and their study partner completed this questionnaire. Feminist identity. Two main questionnaires have operationalized the stages of feminist identity development proposed by Downing and Roush (1985). Items selected from both the Feminist Identity Scale (FIS) (Rickard, 1987) and the Feminist Identity Development Scale (FIDS) (Bargad & Hyde, 1991) by Fischer, Tokar, Mergl, Good, Hill, and Blum (2000) were used to measure five stages of feminist development. Each item is scored on a 5-point Likert scale from “Strongly Disagree” to “Strongly Agree.” The first subscale is Passive Acceptance, the belief that traditional gender roles are advantageous (e.g., "I think that men and women had it better in the 1950s when married women were housewives and their husbands supported them."). The second subscale is Revelation, which is characterized by feelings of anger towards men (e.g., "Men receive many advantages in this society and because of this are against equality for
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 17 women."). Third is the subscale of Embeddedness and Emanation, which is marked by feelings of connectedness with other women (e.g., "If I were to paint a picture or write a poem, it would probably be about women or women's issues."). The fourth subscale, Synthesis, is based on a positive feminist identity and transcendence of gender roles (e.g., "I have incorporated what is female and feminine into my own unique personality."). The final stage of Active Commitment involves broader social change (e.g., "I am very committed to a cause that I believe contributes to a more fair and just world for all people."). Thoughts about assertiveness. The Assertion Self-Statement Test - Revised (Heimberg, Chiauzzi, Becker, & Madrazo-Peterson, 1994) consists of 13 Negative Thoughts about Assertiveness items and 11 items measuring Positive Thoughts about Assertiveness. Respondents decide how frequently they may have been thinking a similar thought during an assertive situation. Each item is scored on a 5-point Likert scale from "Hardly Ever" to "Very Often". Examples of items include "I was thinking that I was too nervous to say what I felt," and "I was thinking that I could benefit by expressing myself." Procedure Participants who signed up for the study were sent via e-mail a packet of eight questionnaires. The participants' packet included a consent form, a demographics sheet, the Assertion Inventory, the Assertion Self-Statement Test (Revised), the Bem Sex Role Inventory, and selected items from the Feminist Identity Scale and the Feminist Identity Development Scale. The participants' study partner filled out a demographics sheet and the Assertion Inventory as it pertained to the participant, not themselves. When the
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 18 participants returned a completed packet, they were sent via e-mail a debriefing and received credit in their introductory psychology course.
Results Descriptive statistics for all ten study variables are reported in Table 1. An alpha level of .05 was used for all statistical tests. Hypotheses 1 and 2 We first conducted zero-order correlations between all study variables. Several significant interactions were found, and the correlation coefficients appear in Table 2. Consistent with our first two hypotheses, masculinity was positively associated with participants’ reports of assertive behavior (r = .40, p < .05), and no relationship between femininity and participants’ reports of assertive behavior was observed, (r = .16, p > .05). Contrary to our hypotheses, no significant relationship was found between masculinity and roommates’ ratings of participants’ assertiveness. In fact, all relationships between roommates’ reports of participants’ assertiveness and the other study variables were non-significant (Table 2). Hypothesis 3 We hypothesized that feminist identity and cognitions about assertiveness would mediate the relationship between masculinity and assertiveness. As seen in Table 2, negative thoughts about assertiveness were unrelated to reports of assertive
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 19 Table 1 Descriptive Statistics for Study Measures
Variable Masculine Sex-Role Orientation Feminine Sex-Role Orientation Self-rated Assertiveness Partner-rated Assertiveness Feminist Identity: Passive Acceptance
Mean 94.16 98.65 132.97 136.12 27.00
SD 14.81 14.64 15.47 15.65 5.59
Min. – Max. 62 - 128 62 - 127 97 - 167 101 - 175 15 - 40
Feminist Identity: Revelation Feminist Identity: Embeddedness Feminist Identity: Synthesis Feminist Identity: Active Commitment Negative Thoughts about Assertiveness
29.03 20.10 21.13 18.85 43.88
5.83 4.70 4.56 4.27 4.41
11 - 40 10 - 29 13 - 35 11 - 29 31 - 54
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 20 Table 2 Zero-Order Correlations Between Sex- Role Orientation, Assertiveness, Feminist Identity, and Assertive Thoughts
Sex-Role Masculine Masculine Sex-Role Feminine Sex-Role Self-report Assertiveness Partner-report Assertiveness Feminist Identity: Passive Acceptance Feminist Identity: Revelation Feminist Identity: Embeddedness Feminist Identity: Synthesis Feminist Identity: Active Commitment Negative Thoughts about Assertiveness Note. * p < .05. **p < .01. -.119 .40** .07 -.10 .20 .13 -.12 -.02 .02 -.16 -.10 -.17 .28* .24* -.03 .15 .16 -.09 -.14 Feminine
Assertiveness Self-rated Partner-rated
--.01 -.12 -.16 -.13 -.10 .03
.32** .14 -.00 .07 .01
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 21 behavior. However, one subscale of feminist identity, revelation, was positively associated with self-reported assertiveness, r = .32, p < .05. This subscale of feminist revelation was also positively correlated with a feminine sex-role orientation; an unexpected finding, r = .28, p < .05. In order to directly test our mediation hypothesis, we conducted a hierarchical multiple regression with assertive behavior as the criterion, feminist revelation in the first step, and masculinity in the second step. The results of this analysis are summarized in Table 3. Contrary to hypotheses, the relationship between masculinity and assertiveness was not significantly reduced when the effects of feminist revelation was statistically controlled, as indicated by a significant R2 change value on the second step. Interestingly, feminist revelation predicted self-reported assertiveness even after the effects of masculinity were statistically controlled, R ² = .06, p < .05 (Table 4). This suggests that feminist revelation adds a significant increment in the prediction of assertiveness above masculinity.
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 22 Table 3 Hierarchical Multiple Regression Analysis Predicting Self-report Assertiveness from Feminist Revelation and Masculine Sex-Role Variable Step 1 Feminist Revelation Step 2 Masculine Sex-Role .35 3.4 .00 .12 .00 .24 2.3 .02 .10 .01 ß t Sig. R²∆ Sig.
Table 4 Hierarchical Multiple Regression Analysis Predicting Self-report Assertiveness from Masculine Sex-Role and Feminist Revelation Variable Step 1 Masculine Sex-Role Step 2 Feminist Revelation .24 2.42 .02 .06 .02 .35 3.36 .00 .16 .00 ß t Sig. R²∆ Sig.
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 23 Discussion The current study replicated the well-established relationship between masculine sex-role and assertive behavior (e.g. Nix, Lohr, & Stauffacher, 1980; Radin, 2000). As in previous research, feminine sex-role was unrelated to assertive behavior (Avsec, 2002; Nix, Lohr, & Mosesso, 1984; Sazan, 1995). However, the hypothesized mechanisms for these findings, feminist identity and beliefs about assertive behavior, were not supported. The measure of negative assertive beliefs was not associated with femininity, masculinity, or assertive behavior. This finding contrasts with that of Arrindell et al. (1997), who report a positive correlation between distress in assertiveness and femininity in women. Also contrary to this finding is the results of a study by Frisch and McCord (1987) that found a correlation between negative thoughts about an assertive task and a feminine sex-role orientation. In the current study, participants’ attitudes toward assertiveness did not correlate with self-reports or partner-reports of their assertive behaviors, suggesting that the thoughts or cognitions regarding behavior are unrelated to behavior itself. One possibility is that the cognitive component of assertiveness may not be an important determinant of actual assertive behavior. The difference in self-report assertiveness and behavioral assertiveness has been documented in some of the research (e. g. Frisch & McCord, 1987), but often this difference is nonsignificant (Nix et al., 1984). Alternatively, general attitudes regarding assertiveness may not be as relevant as the specific cognitions stimulated by a real-life assertive situation. The results only marginally agree with preliminary research identifying a relationship between feminism and assertiveness (Carpenter & Johnson, 2001). Finlay and Scheltema (1999) report that the difference in masculinity scores among lesbian and
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 24 heterosexual women are reduced to non-significance when feminist identity scores were controlled. This suggests some type of relationship between feminism and sex-role orientation. In the current research, only one type of feminism was correlated with selfreported assertiveness. This subscale of feminist identity, feminist revelation, uniquely contributed to the prediction of self-reported assertiveness. Feminist revelation is the second stage of feminist identity, and is characterized by anger towards men and a realization of gender discrimination (Downing & Roush, 1985). The revelation stage begins as a questioning of one’s self and role in society. The revelation-stage feminist often has feelings of guilt that she has perpetuated gender stereotypes in the past. Her anger and growing trust in her perceptions of the world often lead to polarized thinking; women are positive, men are negative. However, the revelation feminist rejects stereotypically feminine actions and attitudes, without embracing positive aspects of womanhood. Feminist revelation was also positively correlated with femininity. This suggests that while highly feminine women may be assertive around men due to their feminist identity, they (and their study partner) did not consider themselves assertive by nature. Many of the adjectives on the Bem Sex-Role Inventory (Bem, 1974) defining femininity relate to a lack of assertion. While feminist revelation was correlated with self-reported assertiveness, and femininity was correlated with feminist revelation, a relationship between femininity and assertiveness was not found. Although self-reports of assertiveness were correlated with feminist revelation, partner-reports of participants’ assertive behavior were not. This may be because the partners rating the participants were female as well. Since men’s opinions of women’s
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 25 assertive behavior are often more negative than same-sex opinions (Baucom & DankerBrown, 1983; Leventhal & Matturo, 1981), only same-sex partners were used in the current study. Possibly, feminist women in the revelation stage may be most likely to be assertive in feminist-salient situations, such as situations involving gender discrimination. Even though research has shown that women are more likely to conform to gender-typed behavior when among men (Alexander & Ryan, 1997; Mori, Chaiken, & Pliner, 1987), perhaps revelation-stage feminists, who reject stereotyped concepts of gender roles, will act more assertively. To examine this possibility, future research might compare assertive behaviors in same-sex and mixed-sex groups, in addition to self- and partnerreports of general assertiveness. Several areas for future research emerge from this study, including observational methods of assessing assertiveness. In the current study, self-reports of assertiveness were statistically unrelated to partner-reports of participants’ assertiveness, suggesting the need for additional, objective observers. Differences in assertiveness may also be examined as a function of the sex of the person being confronted. Future research might examine the precise conditions under which a significant amount of women will appear gender-typed as feminine, and conversely, the conditions needed for women to cross-type and act assertively. The main limitations of the current study include sample size and sample diversity. A small sample size in relation to the number of variables intended for use in the regression analyses may have limited our power to detect significant findings. Further, the limited diversity of our sample restricts the ability to generalize our results. A predominantly young, college-educated, Caucasian sample may not produce results
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 26 that are applicable to the general population. For example, college students may be more likely to endorse certain types of feminist beliefs than other populations. Our findings suggest that the strong relationship between masculinity and assertiveness is not absolute. Although our hypothesized mechanisms did not explain the relationship, feminist revelation uniquely predicted self-report measures of assertiveness. Thus, women low in masculinity but high in certain types of feminist ideologies, may also be assertive, and thus reap the social and psychological benefits associated with assertiveness and assertive behaviors.
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Feminist Identity and Attitudes 39 Tables
Table 1. Descriptive statistics for study measures. ...............................................19 Table 2. Zero-order correlations between sex-role orientation, assertiveness, feminist identity, and assertive thoughts.............................20 Table 3. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis predicting self-report assertiveness from feminist revelation and masculine sex-role.................22 Table 4. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis predicting self-report assertiveness from masculine sex-role and feminist revelation.................22
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 40 Appendices
Appendix A. Informed Consent............................................................................41 Appendix B. Demographics Sheet........................................................................42 Appendix C. Demographics Sheet for Study Partner ...........................................43 Appendix D. Assertion Self Statement Test Revised ...........................................44 Appendix E. Assertion Inventory .........................................................................47 Appendix F. Assertion Inventory for Study Partner .............................................49 Appendix G. Bem Sex-Role Inventory.................................................................51 Appendix H. Feminist Identity / Development Hybrid Scale...............................52
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 41 Appendix A
Informed Consent To Participate In A Research Project
Project Title: Personality Traits and Feminist Beliefs Principle Investigators: Dr. Catherine Lutz and Karolyn Budzek Description of Study: I am being asked to participate in a research project in which I will fill out questionnaires asking about my personality and beliefs. In addition, my roommate or friend will also fill out questionnaires asking about my personality. I will receive one credit once both sets of completed questionnaires are returned to the Psychology Department office in St. Joseph’s 329. Adverse Effects and Risks: No adverse risks or effects are anticipated. Duration of Study: This study will last approximately one hour. Confidentiality of Data: I understand that my name and e-mail address will be retained for the purpose of contacting me for the debriefing. My responses will be assigned a number; therefore my response will not be identifiable by my name. A sheet with my name, email address, and code will be stored in a locked file cabinet separate from my actual responses. This sheet will be destroyed upon my completion of this study. Contact Person: If I have any questions concerning my participation in this study now or in the future, Dr. Lutz can be contacted at (937) 229-2164, by e-mail at Catherine.Lutz@notes.udayton.edu, or in St. Joseph's 308. The chair of the Research Review and Ethics Committee, Dr. Charles Kimble, can be reached at (937) 229-2167 or in St. Joseph's 319. Consent to Participate: I have voluntarily decided to participate in this study. The investigator named above has adequately answered any and all questions I have about this study, the procedures involved, and my participation. I understand that the investigator named above will be available to answer any questions about research procedures throughout this study. I also understand that I may voluntarily terminate my participation in this study at any time and still receive full credit. I also understand that the investigator named above may terminate my participation in this study if s/he feels this to be in my best interest. In addition, I certify that I am 18 (eighteen) years of age or older. _______________________________________________________________________________ Signature of Student Student's Name (printed) Date _______________________________________________________________________________ Signature of Witness
Research Credit Information: PSY 101 Section__________________ Instructor ______________________________Credits____ Student ID# or Social Security Number_________________________________________________ Credit for term ____________________________________________________________________
Researcher: Return this form to the Psychology Experiments Box in SJ 329
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 42 Appendix B
1. What is your age? ______________ What is your year in school? ______________________ Which of the following best describes your ethnic background? Choose one. ____ Black or African American ____ Hispanic ____ White or Caucasian ____ Asian or Pacific Islander ____ Arab ____ Native American
-------------------------------------------------------------Your name: Your e-mail address:
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 43 Appendix C
Demographics for Study Partner
1. Please indicate the length of your relationship with the person for whom you are completing this study. ________ years ________ months What is your relationship with the subject? _____ Roommate _____ Friend _____ Other relationship: ___________ What is your age? ______________ What is your year in school? ______________________ Which of the following best describes your ethnic background? Choose one. ____ Black or African American ____ Hispanic ____ White or Caucasian ____ Asian or Pacific Islander ____ Arab ____ Native American
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 44 Appendix D ASST-R People think a variety of things when they are responding in different situations. These thoughts, along with feelings, determine what kind of responses a person will make. Below is a list of things you may have thought to yourself at some time while responding in assertive situations. Read each item and decide how frequently you may have been thinking a similar thought during the assertive situations. Circle a number from 1 to 5 for each item. The scale is interpreted as follows: 1 = Hardly ever had the thought 2 = Rarely had the thought 3 = Sometimes had the thought 4 = Often had the thought 5 = Very often had the thought 1. I was thinking that I was too nervous to say what I felt. Hardly ever 1 2 3 4 5 Very Often 2. I was thinking that the other person would suspect an ulterior motive if I said anything. Hardly ever 1 2 3 4 5 Very Often 3. I was thinking that the other person should respect an honest expression of feelings. Hardly ever 1 2 3 4 5 Very Often 4. I was thinking that many people fail to get involved to stand up for themselves in similar situations, so there is nothing wrong with my keeping quiet. Hardly ever 1 2 3 4 5 Very Often 5. I was thinking that I could benefit by expressing myself. Hardly ever 1 2 3 4 5 Very Often 6. I was thinking that I should act in accord with what I think is right. Hardly ever 1 2 3 4 5 Very Often 7. I was thinking that if I could avoid this situation, I could somehow relieve my discomfort. Hardly ever 1 2 3 4 5 Very Often 8. I was thinking that it would be selfish of me to let my own feelings be known. Hardly ever 1 2 3 4 5 Very Often
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 45 9. I was thinking that I could express myself in a calm, relaxed way. Hardly ever 1 2 3 4 5 Very Often 10. I was thinking that I would appear incompetent or inadequate if I tried to take a stand. Hardly ever 1 2 3 4 5 Very Often 11. I was thinking that something bad would happen to me if I tried to express myself. Hardly ever 1 2 3 4 5 Very Often 12. I was thinking that the other person wouldn't like me if I offered my opinion. Hardly ever 1 2 3 4 5 Very Often 13. I was thinking that my opinions and decisions should be respected if they are reasonable. Hardly ever 1 2 3 4 5 Very Often 14. I was thinking that since letting my feelings be known was an effective course of action in the past, I should do likewise now. Hardly ever 1 2 3 4 5 Very Often 15. I was thinking that I would only be hurting myself by not expressing myself. Hardly ever 1 2 3 4 5 Very Often 16. I was thinking that future interactions with the other person might be damaged if I didn't say what I felt now. Hardly ever 1 2 3 4 5 Very Often 17. I was thinking that since similar past experience resulted in failure or ineffectiveness, I shouldn't bother to say anything now. Hardly ever 1 2 3 4 5 Very Often 18. I was thinking that I would probably feel guilty later if I refused to do the person a favor. Hardly ever 1 2 3 4 5 Very Often 19. I was thinking that there didn't seem to be a good reason why I shouldn't speak my mind. Hardly ever 1 2 3 4 5 Very Often 20. I was thinking that I would become embarrassed if I let my feelings be known. Hardly ever 1 2 3 4 5 Very Often 21. I was thinking that if I didn't state my opinion now, it might cause problems later on. Hardly ever 1 2 3 4 5 Very Often
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 46
22. I was thinking that my views are important. Hardly ever 1 2 3 4 5
23. I was thinking that if I didn't speak up, it will interfere with my plans. Hardly ever 1 2 3 4 5 Very Often 24. I was thinking that a friendly person would not impose his or her views in this situation. Hardly ever 1 2 3 4 5 Very Often
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 47 Appendix E
Step 1: Many people experience difficulty in handling interpersonal situations requiring them to assert themselves in some way, for example, turning down a request or asking a favor. Please indicate your degree of discomfort or anxiety in the space provided to the left of each situation listed below.
1 - None or almost none 2 - A little 3 - A fair amount 4 - Much 5 - Very much
Step 2: Once you have completed this, go over the list a second time and indicate to the right of each item the probability or likelihood of responding as described if actually presented with the situation.* For example, if you rarely apologize when you are at fault, you would mark "4" to the right of that item. Use the following scale to indicate response probability:
1 - Always do it 2 - Usually do it 3 - Do it about half the time 4 - Rarely do it 5 - Never do it
Step 3: Please indicate the situations you would like to handle more assertively by placing a circle around the item number.
*NOTE: It is important to assess your discomfort rating apart from your response probability. Otherwise, one may influence the other. To prevent this, place a piece of paper over your discomfort ratings while responding to the situation a second time for response probability.
Degree of Discomfort
Situation 1. Turn down a request to borrow your car 2. Compliment a friend 3. Ask a favor of someone 4. Resist sales pressure 5. Apologize when you are at fault 6. Turn down a request for a meeting or date 7. Admit fear and request consideration 8. Tell a person with whom you are intimately involved when s/he says or does something that bothers you 9. Ask for a raise 10. Admit ignorance in some area 11. Turn down a request to borrow money
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 48 Degree of Discomfort Situation 12. Ask personal questions 13. Turn off a talkative friend 14. Ask for constructive criticism 15. Initiate a conversation with a stranger 16. Compliment a person you are romantically involved with or interested in 17. Request a meeting or a date with a person 18. Your initial request for a meeting is turned down and you ask the person again at a later time 19. Admit confusion about a point under discussion and ask for clarification 20. Apply for a job 21. Ask whether you have offended someone 22. Tell someone that you like him or her 23. Request expected service when such is not forthcoming, for example, in a restaurant 24. Discuss openly with a person his or her criticism of your behavior 25. Return defective items in a store or restaurant 26. Express an opinion that differs from that of the person with whom you are talking 27. Resist sexual overtures when you are not interested 28. Tell a person when you feel that s/he has done something that is unfair to you 29. Accept a date 30. Tell someone good news about yourself 31. Resist pressure to drink 32. Resist a significant person's unfair demand 33. Quit a job 34. Resist pressure to use drugs 35. Discuss openly with a person his or her criticism of your work 36. Request the return of a borrowed item 37 Receive compliments 38. Continue to converse with someone who disagrees with you 39. Tell a friend or co-worker when s/he says or does something that bothers you 40. Ask a person who is annoying you in a public situation to stop Response Probability
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 49 Appendix F
AI – for Study Partner
Step 1: Many people experience difficulty in handling interpersonal situations requiring them to assert themselves in some way, for example, turning down a request or asking a favor. Please indicate your perception of your study partner’s degree of discomfort or anxiety in the space provided to the left of each situation listed below.
1 - None or almost none 2 - A little 3 - A fair amount 4 - Much 5 - Very much
Step 2: Once you have completed this, go over the list a second time and indicate to the right of each item your perception of the probability or likelihood of your study partner responding as described if actually presented with the situation.* For example, if she rarely apologizes when she is at fault, you would mark "4" to the right of that item. Use the following scale to indicate response probability:
1 - Always do it 2 - Usually do it 3 - Do it about half the time 4 - Rarely do it 5 - Never do it
Step 3: Please indicate the situations you think your study partner should handle more assertively by placing a circle around the item number.
*NOTE: It is important to assess the discomfort rating apart from the response probability. Otherwise, one may influence the other. To prevent this, place a piece of paper over your discomfort ratings while responding to the situation a second time for response probability.
Degree of Discomfort
Situation 1. Turn down a request to borrow your car 2. Compliment a friend 3. Ask a favor of someone 4. Resist sales pressure 5. Apologize when you are at fault 6. Turn down a request for a meeting or date 7. Admit fear and request consideration 8. Tell a person with whom you are intimately involved when s/he says or does something that bothers you 9. Ask for a raise
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 50
Degree of Discomfort
Situation 10. Admit ignorance in some area 11. Turn down a request to borrow money 12. Ask personal questions 13. Turn off a talkative friend 14. Ask for constructive criticism 15. Initiate a conversation with a stranger 16. Compliment a person you are romantically involved with or interested in 17. Request a meeting or a date with a person 18. Your initial request for a meeting is turned down and you ask the person again at a later time 19. Admit confusion about a point under discussion and ask for clarification 20. Apply for a job 21. Ask whether you have offended someone 22. Tell someone that you like him or her 23. Request expected service when such is not forthcoming, for example, in a restaurant 24. Discuss openly with a person his or her criticism of your behavior 25. Return defective items in a store or restaurant 26. Express an opinion that differs from that of the person with whom you are talking 27. Resist sexual overtures when you are not interested 28. Tell a person when you feel that s/he has done something that is unfair to you 29. Accept a date 30. Tell someone good news about yourself 31. Resist pressure to drink 32. Resist a significant person's unfair demand 33. Quit a job 34. Resist pressure to use drugs 35. Discuss openly with a person his or her criticism of your work 36. Request the return of a borrowed item 37 Receive compliments 38. Continue to converse with someone who disagrees with you 39. Tell a friend or co-worker when s/he says or does something that bothers you 40. Ask a person who is annoying you in a public situation to stop
Feminist Identity and Attitudes 51
Indicate how well each of these 60 personality characteristics describes you on the line to the left of the word. Use the following rating scale: 1 – Very uncharacteristic of me, extremely non-descriptive 2 – Rather uncharacteristic of me, quite non-descriptive 3 – Somewhat uncharacteristic of me, slightly non-descriptive 4 – Neither characteristic nor uncharacteristic of me, neutral 5 – Somewhat characteristic of me, slightly descriptive 6 – Rather characteristic of me, quite descriptive 7 – Very characteristic of me, extremely descriptive
______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______
1. Self-reliant 2. Yielding 3. Helpful 4. Defends own beliefs 5. Cheerful 6. Moody 7. Independent 8. Shy 9. Conscientious 10. Athletic 11. Affectionate 12. Theatrical 13. Assertive 14. Flatterable 15. Happy 16. Strong personality 17. Loyal 18. Unpredictable 19. Forceful 20. Feminine 21. Reliable 22. Analytical 23. Sympathetic 24. Jealous 25. Has leadership abilities 26. Sensitive to the needs of others 27. Truthful 28. Willing to take risks 29. Understanding 30. Secretive
______ 31. Makes decisions easily ______ 32. Compassionate ______ 33. Sincere ______ 34. Self-sufficient ______ 35. Eager to soothe hurt feelings ______ 36. Conceited ______ 37. Dominant ______ 38. Soft-spoken ______ 39. Likeable ______ 40. Masculine ______ 41. Warm ______ 42. Solemn ______ 43. Willing to take a stand ______ 44. Tender ______ 45. Friendly ______ 46. Aggressive ______ 47. Gullible ______ 48. Inefficient ______ 49. Acts as a leader ______ 50. Childlike ______ 51. Adaptable ______ 52. Individualistic ______ 53. Does not use harsh language ______ 54. Unsystematic ______ 55. Competitive ______ 56. Loves children ______ 57. Tactful ______ 58. Ambitious ______ 59. Gentle ______ 60. Conventional
Feminist Identity 52 Appendix H FIDS Please indicate your own personal feelings about each statement below by marking the number that best describes your attitude or feeling. 1 – Strongly Agree 2 – Moderately Agree 3 – Neutral 4 – Moderately Disagree 5 – Strongly Disagree 1. I am very committed to a cause that I believe contributes to a more fair and just world for all people. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree 2. I want to work to improve women’s status. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4
5 Strongly Disagree
3. I am willing to make certain sacrifices to effect change in this society in order to create a nonsexist, peaceful place where all people have equal opportunities. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree 4. It is very satisfying to me to be able to use my talents and skills in my work in the women’s movement. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree 5. I care very deeply about men and women having equal opportunities in all respects. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree 6. I choose my “causes” carefully to work for greater equality of all people. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree
7. I feel that I am a very powerful and effective spokesperson for the women’s issues I am concerned with right now. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree 8. On some level, my motivation for almost every activity I engage in is my desire for an egalitarian world. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree 9. I owe it not only to women but to all people to work for greater opportunity and equality for all. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree 10. I feel like I have blended my female attributes with my unique personal qualities. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree
Feminist Identity 53 11. I am very interested in women musicians. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 12. I am proud to be a competent woman. Strongly Agree 1 2 3
5 Strongly Disagree
5 Strongly Disagree
13. I have incorporated what is female and feminine into my own unique personality. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree 14. I enjoy the pride and self-assurance that comes from being a strong female. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree 15. As I have grown in my beliefs I have realized that it is more important to value women as individuals than as members of a larger group of women. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree 16. If I were to paint a picture or write a poem, it would probably be about women or women’s issues. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree 17. Gradually, I am beginning to see just how sexist society really is. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree 18. I feel angry when I think about the way I am treated by men and boys. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree 19. Men receive many advantages in society and because of this are against equality for women. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree 20. I never realized until recently that I have experienced oppression and discrimination as a woman in society. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree 21. I feel like I’ve been duped into believing society’s perceptions of me as a woman. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree 22. My female friends are like me in that we all are angry at men and the ways we have been treated as women. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree 23. In my interactions with men, I am always looking for ways I may be discriminated against because I am female. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree 24. Regretfully, I can see ways in which I have perpetuated sexist attitudes in the past. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree
Feminist Identity 54
I am very interested in women writers. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 I am very interested in women artists. Strongly Agree 1 2 3
27. I am very interested in women’s studies. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4
5 Strongly Disagree
28. I don’t see much point in questioning the general expectation that men should be masculine and women should be feminine. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree 29. One thing I especially like about being a woman is that men will offer me their seat on a crowded bus or open doors for me because I am a woman. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree 30. I like being a traditional female. Strongly Agree 1 2 3
5 Strongly Disagree
31. I think that men and women had it better in the 1950s when married women were housewives and their husbands supported them. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree 32. If I were married to a man and my husband was offered a job in another state, it would be my obligation to move in support of his career. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree 33. I think that most women will feel most fulfilled by being a wife and mother. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree
34. I think it’s lucky that women aren’t expected to do some of the more dangerous jobs that men are expected to do, like construction work or race car driving. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree 35. I do not want to have equal status with men. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4
5 Strongly Disagree
36. I evaluate men as individuals, not as members of a group of oppressors. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree 37. I just feel like I need to be around women who share my point of view right now. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree 38. I feel that some men are sensitive to women’s issues. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree
Feminist Identity 55 39. I share most of my social time with a few close women friends who share my feminist values. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree
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