Everything on Androgyny

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In psychological terms androgyny is used to describe a flexible gender role. An
andogynous individual displays similar levels of masculine and feminine
behaviour which is not associated with a particular sex.
Whether or not a person is androgynous, or just mascline or just feminine, can
be assessed by questionnaires or investories.
Bem complied one of the best known investories.
The aim was to consturct an inventory to measure mascuulinity, femininity and
The method was 50 male and 50 female judges rated 200 traits for how
desireable they were for men and women. Based on judges rating 20 traits
were chosen for a masculinity scale and 20 for a femininity scale.
Feminine traits included compassion, sympathy, warmth, shyness and
Masculine traits included ambition, athleticism, being analysitcal and
There traits were then used on the BSRI where peopl had to rate themselves
between one and seven.
The results showed that whern The BRSI was tested on 1000 students it
showed itself to be valid when checked against the sample.s own description of
their gender identity. A smaller sample of sdtudents were tested month later
and got similar results indicating the study was reliable.
In conclusion having established the BSRI was reliable and valid, bem found
that some people do score highly on masculine and feminine triats. Men
normally on masculine and women mainly on feminine. However, many people
were more androgynous and bems study showed these people were more
psychogically health. A smaller nmber scoored low on both sets of traits and
were described as undifferentiated.
The problem with investories or questionnaires is that reply on people habing
insight into their personalities and behaviour. Respodents may also lie or
exaggerate to give socially desireable answers.
However bems inventory was confidential which reduces the likelihood of
dishonest respones.
This study also shows that people cannot simply be categories as eithe
rmasculine, feminine or androgynous.
There are different levels of each behaviour. In addition it is not easy to
measure gender preciselly. Gender is more subjective than sex.
Where a peron's sex can be ojectively designed by their genes and pyhsical
appearance, their gender may be more open to interpretation.


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