Measuring Gender Roles

Some researchers are primarily interested in determining if one sex is at a greater risk for—or is more “protected” from—a specific, undesirable outcome than another sex. Other researchers focus on the differences within a single sex to determine who is at a greater risk for or more protected from those outcomes. For example, a researcher might want to know if “macho” men have more sexual hookups than their nonmacho counterparts, or whether “girly girls” are more susceptible to body image and eating disorders than their less feminine peers.

These questions require researchers to move beyond large group differences based on biological sex. Instead, they need to examine gender and gender roles and the cultural assumptions and expectations based on sex. This entry discusses current approaches to ...

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