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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2006 Nov;91(5):944-58.

Social role and birth cohort influences on gender-linked personality traits in women: a 20-year longitudinal analysis.

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1
Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, NY, USA. sk57@columbia.edu

Abstract

Growth curve modeling was used to examine the impact of social role experiences (e.g., marital support, occupational prestige) and birth cohort on mean-level differences and age-related changes in positive personality traits indicative of either femininity or masculinity in 758 mothers heterogeneous in age, assessed 4 times over 2 decades. Both femininity and masculinity increased significantly from mean ages 39 through 59; each was predictive of an age change in the other. Low masculinity was associated with a more rapid increase in femininity, whereas high occupational prestige decreased the magnitude of association between masculinity and femininity. Femininity increased with more marital support but decreased with unmarried status, more children at home, and working full or part time; among full-time workers, that effect was modified by marital support. Masculinity increased with full-time work and high occupational prestige. A trend for differing levels of femininity, and contrasting associations of masculinity with femininity and marital conflict in women born after 1944 compared with those born earlier, suggests shifting social norms and gender relations in the marital role.

PMID:
17059312
DOI:
10.1037/0022-3514.91.5.944
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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