URC

Gender Roles and Personality Disorders

Amy R. Knapp
Southeast Missouri State University


Abstract

Although many professionals have speculated that gender may have a relation to personality disorders, there is little research that has directly examined how gender roles affect personality disorders. This study was conducted to determine whether gender-role phenomena would be related to the DSM-IV personality disorders. The results indicated that public gender consciousness was found to be positively correlated with borderline personality disorder symptomology. Other results indicated that exaggerated self reliance correlated positively with the sum of all personality disorders measured. The discussion focuses on the implications and limitations of the findings.

Gender Roles and Personality Disorders

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-IV); American Psychiatric Association [APA], 1994), a personality disorder is defined as a pattern of enduring behaviors that is considered socially unacceptable by a society, and which usually has an onset in adolescence and often leads to impairment. The DSM-IV also defines 10 personality disorders and two provisional personality disorders: (a) paranoid (i.e., distrust and suspiciousness that others' motives are deviant); (b) schizoid (i.e., pattern of detachment from social relationships and limited emotional expressions); (c) schizotypal (i.e., pattern of uneasiness in close-knit relationships, unusual behaviors, and cognitive distortions); (d) antisocial (i.e., pattern of disregard and violation of the rights of others); (e) borderline (i.e., pattern of extreme impulsive behavior, instability in relationships and self-image); (f) histrionic (i.e., pattern of excessive emotionality and seeks attention); (g) narcissistic (i.e., pattern of excessive self-praise, the need for admiration, and a lack of empathy); (h) avoidant (i.e., a pattern of inadequate feelings isolation from others socially, and sensitivity to negative evaluations); (i) dependent (i.e., pattern of submissive behavior, an intense need and desire to be taken care of, and clingy patterns of behavior); (j) obsessive-compulsive (i.e., pattern of preoccupations with order and control); (k) depressive (i.e., pattern of depressive thoughts and behaviors); and (l) negativistic (i.e., pattern of negative attitudes and resistance of demands for adequate performance in the social and working worlds).

Personality disorders can be assessed in two ways, either by interview or by questionnaire. One interview measure is the Personality Disorder Examination (PDE) (Hunt & Andrews, 1992). The PDE is a 126-item semi-structured clinical interview method that assesses the personality disorders listed in the DSM-IV. The PDE was found to be less reliable than the questionnaire methods. Another widely used interview technique for assessing personality disorders is the Structured Clinical Interview for the DSM-III-R Personality Disorders (SCID-II; First et. al, 1995). This test was designed to be maximally efficient in evaluating personality disorders.

One questionnaire method used to assess personality disorders is the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire (PDQ) (Hyler, 1994). There are four forms of the PDQ: PDQ (PDQ; Hyler et. al., 1988), PDQ-R (PDQ-R; Hunt & Andrews, 1992), PDQ-4 (Hyler, 1994), and the PDQ-4+ (Hyler, 1994) because of the changes that have been made to the DSM. The PDQ is a 163-item true/false questionnaire that gives both dimensional scores and personality diagnoses that are consistent with DSM-III personality disorder criteria. Hyler, Rieder, Williams, Spitzer, Lyons, and Hendler (1988) showed that the PDQ generated more diagnoses than clinicians. The PDQ has face validity because the items are a direct translation of the DSM-III diagnostic criteria.

A second form of the PDQ is the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire-Revised (PDQ-R) (Hunt & Andrews, 1992). The PDQ-R is a 152-item true/false questionnaire. Hyler, Skodol, Kellman, Oldham, and Rosnick (1990) found that the PDQ-R is not a substitute for a structured interview and that the PDQ-R over diagnoses personality disorders and is a more effective means for diagnosis with certain disorders than with others. The PDQ-4 was made to assess the 10 personality disorders of the DSM-IV, using a true/false response format, with the "true" statement being the pathological response. The PDQ-4+ includes the personality disorders such as passive-aggressive and depressive that were included in the appendix of the DSM-IV (Hyler, 1994). The fourth and final form of the PDQ is the PDQ 4+. This test was designed to accommodate for the changes to personality disorders made in the DSM-IV-TR.

The Minnesota Mulitphasic Personality Inventory-pd (MMPI-pd) (Morey, Waugh, & Blashfield, 1985) is another self-report questionnaire that can be used to assess personality disorders. Morey et al. (1985) conducted a test that helped determine the reliability of the MMPI. They set up 11 new personality disorder scales to be evaluated by clinical psychologists. In addition to the MMPI-pd, Millon (1983a) developed a questionnaire designed to measure personality disorders, called the Million Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI). The MCMI consists of 175 items that are true/false in nature. This self report inventory consists of 20 clinical scales and one validity scale that are congruent with the DSM-III personality disorders. Widiger, Williams, Spitzer, and Frances (1985) argue that there is no data to support the interpretation that the MCMI is a valid measure of DSM-III personality disorders, and that little has been shown to support the validity of the MCMI.

In a report by Dubro, Wetzler, and Kahn (1988), the MCMI and the PDQ were found to be successful in measuring and identifying the personality disorders. These questionnaires also produced a higher rate of false negatives in certain disorders. The MCMI and the PDQ were found to have the best predictive validity; that is, they were better than other questionnaires at predicting the presence of certain personality disorders, and also in the absence of personality disorders.

The purpose of the present investigation was to examine the relationship between personality disorders and university students' gender roles. Since Spence (1993) has argued that gender role phenomena is multidimensional in nature, it was decided to use multiple gender role measures in the present investigation, including the Masculine Behavior Scale (MBS) (Snell, 1989), the Personality Attributes Questionnaire (PAQ) (Spence, 1993), and the Multidimensional Gender Consciousness Questionnaire (MGCQ) (Snell, 1989). Research by Snell (1989) focused on the stereotypical behavioral tendencies attributed more often to males than females: restrictive emotionality, (defined as inability to display emotions in public); inhibited affection (defined as the inhibition of affection towards loved ones); success dedication (defined as being dedicated to the pursuit of success); and exaggerated self-reliance (defined as being preoccupied with self-reliance and control of one's life). Research with the MBS had revealed that the subscales on the MBS were highly reliable. Snell found that women were less likely than men to describe themselves as engaging in affectively inhibited and emotionally restricted behaviors. Both men and women were shown to behave in a fashion associated with success dedication and exaggerated self-reliance.

Spence and Helmreich's (1980) research with the Personal Attributes Questionnaire (PAQ) was designed to measure psychological femininity (the socially desirable aspects of instrumental, self-assertive traits that have been judged to be more characteristic of men than women), and psychological femininity (desirable, socially-oriented, and expressiveness traits judged to be more characteristic of women than of men).

More recently, Snell and Johnson (2004) developed the Multidimensional Gender Consciousness Questionnaire (MGCQ) as a method for assessing another aspect of women's and men's gender roles-gender consciousness. Gender consciousness is presumed to have two components: private gender consciousness and public gender consciousness. Public gender consciousness is the tendency to be aware of other's reactions to aspects of one's own particular gender. By contrast, private gender consciousness involves the tendency to be personally aware of gender related phenomena about oneself and society in relation to gender differences in the personality disorders.

Reich (1987) states that the family and genetics have a role to play in determining probability of having a personality disorder. Reich also states that the personality disorders can manifest themselves differently in men and women. In the results of Reich's study, he showed that antisocial personality disorder was more commonly found in men, whereas histrionic personality disorder was more commonly found in women. Reich speculates that this could also be due, in part, to societal pressures as well as the familial patterns.

Other gender differences in personality disorders were reported by Grilo et al. (1996). They found that borderline personality disorder was assigned more frequently to women than men. This study also indicates that narcissistic personality disorder was assigned only to males in their study. The results of this study were said to be congruent with other studies measuring narcissistic personality disorder, but not for borderline personality disorder.

Summary

The current investigation was conducted In order to examine the relationship between the personality disorders listed in the DSM-IV and gender roles. This study involved an examination of whether personality disorder symptomology would be associated with people's gender role tendencies. Previous research has indicated that personality disorder symptomology is associated with gender. Ekselius, Bodlund, von Knorring, Lindstrom, and Kullgren (1996), Golomb, Fava, Abraham, and Rosenbaum (1995), and others researchers have demonstrated that personality disorder symptomology can be measured through the use of questionnaire techniques (Hyler, 1994; Millon, 1983a). Personality disorder symptomology was assessed in the present investigation through the use of the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire-4+ (Hyler, 1994). Gender role was assessed through the use of the Personal Attributes Questionnaire (PAQ) (Spence & Helmreich, 1978), the Masculine Behavior Scale (MBS) (Snell, 1989), and the Multidimensional Gender Consciousness Questionnaire (MGCQ) (Snell & Johnson, 2004). The Multidimensional Gender Consciousness Questionnaire (MGCQ) (Snell & Johnson, 2004) was designed to measure several aspects of gender consciousness: public gender consciousness and private gender consciousness. The Masculine Behavior Scale (MBS) (Snell, 1989) was designed to measure four behavioral tendencies stereotypically imputed more to male versus female: restrictive emotionality (defined as inability to display emotions in public); inhibited affection (defined as the inhibition of affection towards loved ones); success dedication (defined as being dedicated to the pursuit of success); and exaggerated self-reliance (defined as being preoccupied with self-reliance and control of one's life). The Personal Attributes Questionnaire (PAQ) (Spence, 1993) was designed to measure psychological femininity (i.e., the socially desirable aspects of instrumental, self-assertive traits that have been judged to be more characteristic of men than women), and psychological femininity (i.e., desirable, socially-oriented, and expressiveness traits judged to be more characteristic of women than of men).

Hypotheses

It was anticipated that higher levels of symptomology associated with schizoid personality disorder would be associated with more traditional/conventional gender role tendencies restrictive emotionality. More specifically, it was predicted that those individuals who score higher on the PDQ-4+ measure of schizoid personality disorder (those with greater schizoid personality disorder symptomology) would be more likely to describe themselves as having an inability to display emotions in public, and the restrictive emotionality subscale, as measured by the Masculine Behavior Scale (MBS) . This prediction was based on the rationale that schizoid personality disorder is characterized by detachment from social relationships and limited emotional expressiveness as defined by the DSM-IV-TR. Also, this prediction was also based on the rationale that the Masculine Behavior Scale (MBS) defines restrictive emotionality as having the inability to display emotions in public.

Method

Participants

The participants in the present research sample were drawn from several lower division psychology courses at a small Midwestern university. The sample consisted of 53 participants (28 males; 16 females) who were assessed during the Spring of 2005. The participants volunteered to participate in the research projects as one way to partially fulfill requirements in their course. Approximately 88.6% of the participants were lower-division students, and the remainders were upper division students (n = 5). About 90.9% of the participants reported that they had never been married, and the others were either currently in their first marriage (n = 2) or divorced (n=2). Approximately 95.5% of the participants reported having no children, and the others had between one child and three children (n = 2). Approximately 45.5% of the participants reported an income of $35,000 or more, and the remainder of the participants reported incomes of less than $35,000 (n = 23). About 79.5% of the participants were Caucasian-American (n = 35), and the others were either African-American (n = 5), Hispanic-American (n = 2), or some other ethnicity (n = 2).

Measures

Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire-4+. The Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire-4+ (PDQ-4+) (Hyler, 1994) is a self-administered, forced-choice, true/false diagnostic instrument measuring all twelve DSM-IV Axis II personality disorders (Hyler, 1994) (described in the Review of Literature).

Hyler et al., (1988) define the PDQ as a self-report questionnaire derived from the personality disorders section of the original DSM-III. Johnson, Bornstein, and Sherman (1996) found that self-report personality disorder questionnaires may be able to provide valuable prognostic information in both nonclinical as well as clinical samples. Prior to the PDQ there was no self-report instrument available that indicated the presence of a DSM-III personality disorder or that assessed personality disorders specifically based on the DSM-III diagnostic criteria (Hyler et al., 1988). The total PDQ-4+ score is an index of overall personality disturbance and is determined by summing all the pathological responses (Hyler, 1994). The PDQ-4+ is distinguishable from the PDQ-R in that it assesses the additional diagnoses of passive-aggressive personality disorder and depressive personality disorder. Each of the PDQ-4 items corresponds directly to a single DSM-IV diagnostic criterion and a response of True indicates that the score of the item is pathological. This means the behavior the question addresses is habitual or compulsive for the subject.

In responding to the PDQ-4+, the participants were asked to indicate how much the statement was generally true or generally false for them. A two-point true and false scale was used to collect data on the participant's responses, with responses of true being scored a 1, and responses of false being scored a 2.

Evidence for the reliability of the PDQ-4+ was provided by Reich, Yates and Nduaguba (1989) and Hyler et al. (1990), who found evidence that the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire showed adequate test-retest reliability for many of the DSM-III personality disorders. Evidence for the validity of the PDQ-4+ was provided by Hyler et al. (1990). They showed that the PDQ-R is an effective screening instrument for maximizing finding true cases at the expense of generating false positives. Hunt and Andrews (1992) suggest that the PDQ-R reputation for over diagnosing may be due to the fact that it is a self-report questionnaire, and subjects may be more likely to report their true feelings compared to being confronted face to face with the question. Evidence for the validity of the PDQ-4+ was also found by Trull and Larson (1994), who found that the PDQ-R was significantly correlated with scales similar to those of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R. This interview is a semi-structured interview method designed to assess personality disorder symptomology.

Multidimensional Gender Consciousness Questionnaire. The Multidimensional Gender Consciousness Questionnaire (MGCQ) (Snell & Johnson, 2004) was designed to measure several aspects of gender consciousness: public gender consciousness and private gender consciousness. Public gender consciousness the tendency to be aware of other's reactions to aspects of one's own particular gender. By contrast, private gender consciousness involves the tendency to be personally aware of gender related phenomena about oneself and society.

Participant responses were measured on a 5-point Likert scale, with items being scored from 0 (Not at all characteristic of me) to 4 (Very characteristic of me). In order to create subscale scores, the items on each subscale were summed. Higher scores thus corresponded to greater public gender consciousness and private gender consciousness, respectively.
Reliability scores for the Multidimensional Gender Consciousness Questionnaire were found to be acceptable in the present investigation.

Masculine Behavior Scale. The Masculine Behavior Scale (MBS) (Snell, 1989) was designed to measure four behavioral tendencies stereotypically imputed more to male versus female: restrictive emotionality, defined as inability to display emotions in public; inhibited affection, which deals with inhibition of affection towards loved ones; success dedication, defined as being dedicated to the pursuit of success; and exaggerated self-reliance, defined as being preoccupied with self-reliance and control of one's life.

In responding to the MBS, the participants were asked to indicate how much they agreed-disagreed with that statement. A 5-point Likert scale was used to collect data on the participant's responses, with each item being scored from +2 to -2: agree (+2), slightly agree (+1); neither agree nor disagree (0); slightly disagree (-1); and disagree (-2). Subscale scores were computed by summing the responses to the items assigned to each individual subscale. Negative (positive) scores indicated that the participants described themselves as not engaging (as engaging) in the stereotypically masculine behaviors measured by the MBS.

Evidence for the reliability of the MBS was provided by Snell (1989), who reported that the internal reliabilities for the MBS subscales ranged from a low of .69 to a high of .89. Evidence for the validity of the MBS has been provided by Snell (1989), who reported a positive correlation between the restrictive emotionality subscale and the exaggerated self-reliance subscale.

Personal Attributes Questionnaire. The Personal Attributes Questionnaire (PAQ) (Spence, 1993) was designed to measure the socially desirable aspects of instrumentality (defined as self-assertive traits that have been judged to be more characteristic of men than women), and expressiveness (defined as desirable, socially-oriented traits judged to be more characteristic of women than of men). The PAQ consists of two scales, expressiveness and instrumentality (Dowson, 1992). One scale is composed of self-assertive traits that were judged to be more characteristic of males than females. The other scale is composed of desirable, socially-oriented expressive traits that were judged to be more characteristic of females than males.

In responding to the Personal Attributes Questionnaire, the participants were asked to choose an answer that best represents the type of person they think they are. Each question consisted of two opposing characteristics, with the letters A-E in between them. The letters formed a scale between two extremes. Participants were asked to choose a letter which described where they fall on the scale.

Evidence for the reliability of the PAQ was provided by Spence and Helmreich (1978), who reported that reliability for the PAQ subscales were .85, .82, and .78 for M, F, and M-F respectively. Evidence for the validity of the PAQ was provided by Spence (1993) who found that t-test comparing the means of men and women on the two PAQ scales and on the two BSRI scales indicated that the sex differences that have consistently been found in prior studies again emerged, men scoring significantly higher on the I and M scales and lower on the E and F scales of these two instruments than women (p < .01). Evidence for the validity for the PAQ was found by Spence (1993), who found that the PAQ clearly assess desirable instrumental and expressive traits. Its construct validity as a measure of these personality dimensions has been well established.

Procedure

When the participants arrived at the testing room, the purpose of the study was briefly described to them and they were asked to read and sign an informed consent form. They were guaranteed complete anonymity and were assured that their responses would be kept in complete confidentiality. All participants who entered the experiment agreed to participate. Each participant then received a questionnaire booklet containing the various measures. The presentation order was as shown above. Following the completion of the measures, the participants received a written debriefing form that explained the purpose of the study. The completion of the questionnaire booklet required approximately 35-40 minutes. Small groups of up to 15 participants were tested during each session of the seven separate sessions.

Results

The correlations among the PDQ-4+ subscales and the various gender role measures are presented in Table 1. The results for the various gender role measures are presented in the following sections.

Table 1
Correlations Between The Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire-4+ and the Gender Role Measures Among University Undergraduates
_____________________________________________________________________

Personality                           Gender Role Measures

Disorders              ____________________________________________________

on the PDQ-4+           PuGA  PrGA  PAQ-I  PAQ-E   RE    IA    SD    ESR

                       ____________________________________________________

Total PDQ-4+ score      .23   .11   -.16   -.20   .12   .09   .10   .30A

DSM-IV Cluster A Personality Disorders:

Paranoid PD             .01   .02    .08   -.06   .16   .11   .25   .39C

Schizoid PD            -.17  -.21   -.14   -.42C  .40C  .29A  .06   .26A

Schizotypal PD         -.11  -.25   -.03   -.31A  .29A  .18   .17   .41C

DSM-IV Cluster B Personality Disorders:

Antisocial PD          -.04  -.16    .03   -.32A  .24   .27A  .20   .26A

Borderline PD           .29A  .20   -.28A  -.18   .13   .32A -.01   .23

Histrionic PD           .29   .12   -.03    .03  -.37B -.12   .20  -.08

Narcissistic PD         .17   .01    .11   -.18  -.04   .01   .19   .18

DSM-IV Cluster C Personality Disorders:

Avoidant PD             .23   .17   -.61D   .09   .04   .29A -.24  -.08

Dependent PD            .16   .07   -.39C   .04  -.02   .02  -.09  -.24

Obsessive Compulsive PD .13   .04    .15    .25  -.14  -.10   .37B  .17

DSM-IV Appendix B Personality Disorders:

Negativistic PD         .19  -.02   -.26A  -.16   .06   .26A  .07   .25

Depressive PD           .18   .14   -.03   -.12   .19   .22  -.22   .35B

________________________________________________________________________
Note. N = 53. Higher scores on the PDQ-4+ correspond to greater amounts of the symptoms associated 
with each of the personality disorders measured by the PDQ-4+. Higher scores on the gender role measures 
correspond to greater traditional gender role ideology, instrumentality, and expressiveness, respectively.
PD = personality disorder. PAQ-I = PAQ-Instrumentality PAQ-E = PAQ-Expressiveness SD = success dedication 
RE = restrictive emotion IA = inhibited affection ESr = exaggerated self-reliance
a p < .05. b p < .01. c p < .005. d p < .001.

Results for Public Gender Consciousness
Public Gender Consciousness was found to be positively correlated with borderline personality disorder (r =.29, p < .030).

Results for Private Gender Consciousness
Private gender consciousness was found not to be significantly correlated with any of the 12 personality disorders.

Results for PAQ-E
The expressiveness scale was found to be negatively associated with schizoid personality disorder (r = -.42, p < .002) and schizotypal personality disorder (r = -.31, p < .020). It was also found to be negatively associated with antisocial personality disorder (r = -.32, p < .019), and negatively associated with the too good validity subscale (r = -.40, p < .004).

Results for PAQ-I
The instrumentality scale was found to be negatively associated with borderline personality disorder (r = -.29, p < .032) and avoidant personality disorder (r = -.61, p < .001). The instrumentality scale was also found to be negatively associated with depressive personality disorder (r = -.39, p < .005) and negativistic personality disorder (r = -.26, p < .047).

Results for Success Dedication
Success dedication was found to be positively associated with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (r = .37, p < .008).

Results for Restrictive Emotionality
Restrictive emotionality was found to be positively associated with schizoid personality disorder (r = .40, p < .004) and schizotypal personality disorder (r = .30, p < .029). It was also found to be negatively associated with histrionic personality disorder (r = -.37, p < .007).

Results for Inhibited Affection
Inhibited affection was found to be positively associated with schizoid personality disorder (r = .30, p < .029), borderline personality disorder (r = .32, p < .019), and antisocial personality disorder (r =.27, p < .041). Inhibited affection was also found to be positively associated with avoidant personality disorder (r =.30, p < .026), too good validity subscale (r = .37, p < .007) and negativistic personality disorder (r =.26, p < .046).

Results for Exaggerated Self Reliance
Exaggerated self-reliance was found to be positively associated with paranoid personality disorder (r = .39, p < .005), schizoid personality disorder (r = .26, p < .045) and schizotypal personality disorder (r = .41, p < .003). Exaggerated self reliance was also found to be positively associated with antisocial personality disorder (r = .26, p < .043), depressive personality disorder (r = .36, p < .009) and with the total PDQ-4+ score (r =.30, p < .026).

Discussion

The purpose of the present study was to see if gender consciousness was related to personality disorders or gender roles. The prediction was made that schizoid personality disorder would be associated with more traditional/conventional gender role tendencies of restrictive emotionality of the MBS. More specifically, it was predicted that those individuals who scored higher on the PDQ-4+ measure of personality disorder would be more likely to describe themselves as having an inability to display emotions in public, as measured by the MBS. This was hypothesized on the rationale that schizoid personality disorder is characterized by detachment from social relationships and limited emotional expressiveness. This prediction was also based on the rationale that the MBS subscale of restrictive emotionality as having the inability to display emotions in public. Support was found for the predictions made.

There are many results that can be reviewed. The results showed that public gender consciousness, or being aware of other's reactions to aspects of one's own particular gender, was found to be positively related to borderline personality disorder, or those that have a pattern of impulsive behavior and instability in relationships and self-image. The expressiveness subscale of the Masculine Behavior Scale was negatively associated with schizoid personality disorder, or those that detach themselves from their social relationships and show a limited range of emotions. This subscale was also negatively associated with antisocial personality disorder, or someone who shows disregard for the rights of others. A PAQ subscale of success dedication, or those who are very pertinent in trying to succeed was shown to be related positively to obsessive compulsive disorder, or those who like extreme order and perfection.

The results for the PAQ subscale of restrictive emotionality, an inability to display emotions in public, was found to be positively associated with schizoid personality disorder and schizotypal personality disorder, or those that show uneasiness in close relationships and display unusual behaviors and cognitive distortions. This subscale was also negatively associated with histrionic personality disorder, or someone that constantly seeks attention and is excessively emotional. Inhibited affection can be described as someone who does not show their emotions to loved ones and is positively associated with many different personality disorders. These include: schizoid personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, avoidant personality, or the inadequate feelings of isolation from others, and sensitivity to negative evaluations, and negativistic personality disorder. Exaggerated self-reliance, or being preoccupied with control of one's life, is positively related to paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, schizotypal personality, antisocial personality disorder, and depressive personality disorder. Depressive personality disorder is the pattern of depressive thoughts and behaviors.

The results compare to those of other studies in that literature supports our hypothesis. The findings were consistent with Spence (1993) in that the PAQ subscales of restrictive emotionality and success dedication do not show gender differences, but show instrumentality and expressiveness. Research reported by Snell (1989) also showed similarities with the present research. Snell (1989) reported subscales of the Masculine Behavior Scale (MBS). The definition of the restrictive emotionality subscale was congruent with the hypothesis stated in this study.

The results of this study bring about the need for societal changes. One thing that society should change is the views on expressing emotions. Those that want to outwardly express the emotions should be allowed to do so. As a result, society should be more acceptant of those who express emotions. Society has the stereotype that men should not be emotional, or at least not show their emotions in public. Men and women should be allowed to equally express their emotions. On the success dedication piece of the study, society should help these individuals by not pressuring them to have such high achievement standards and views.

There were many limitations to research in this study. One particular limitation was due to the geographical area. Most of the participants came from the Midwest. This limited the results to be representative of just a local population and not a general population. There was also a limited age of the participants. Since the students participated as a requirement of lower division psychology courses, it was to be expected that most of the students fell into the 16-25 age group. Associated with this limitation is the factor of restricted marital group. The majority of the participants have never been married. Also, the majority of participants had no children, which limited the possibility of an influence from children. Many of the participants were of Caucasian American ethnicity. This could be considered a limitation because research was not able to look at the influence of different ethnic groups on the tested variables.

The present research represents a preliminary step in understanding the way in which individuals think about gender roles in society. Future research should be conducted to see if similar results are yielded. This research should be geared towards a more generalized population to accommodate for the present limitations to research. Future research should look at factors such as geographical area to see if there is a difference in gender consciousness among the different regions of the United States. Other studies conducted in the future should also look at factors such as marital status to see if married couples have similar or differing views of gender consciousness, and compare these results to those that are not married. Future research should also look at an age factor. This would allow the researcher to see if age plays a role in the views of gender consciousness and gender roles.

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Author Notes

Gratitude is extended to Dr. Snell for his helpful comments on earlier versions of this manuscript.

The research reported in this manuscript was conducted in a manner totally consistent with the IRB requirements of Southeast Missouri State University.



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