Measuring Gender

Many Americans see little difference between the terms sex and gender and consider them synonyms. Yet some individuals see the two terms as representing related but different ideas, or constructs. Recognizing and understanding the differences between these constructs is very important to psychologists as producers and consumers of research and in both research and applied settings. The connections between sex and gender are sufficiently important that the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (hereafter, APA Publication Manual), which provides the common standard for professional writing among social scientists, devotes several pages to the topic.

The related but overlapping nature of these constructs makes it a challenge to measure them effectively. However, measuring ideas and variables effectively is the researcher’s task and, in many ways, ...

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