The Measurement of Masculinity and Femininity: Historical Perspective and Implications for Counseling


  • Rose Marie Hoffman

    Associate Professor, Corresponding author
    • Department of Educational Psychology, Administration, and Counseling, California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840–2201 (e-mail:

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    • Rose Marie Hoffman is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, Administration, and Counseling at California State University, Long Beach.


Masculinity and femininity are both psychological and sociocultural constructs that test developers have attempted to assess for many years. The author examines the history of the measurement of masculinity and femininity from the 1920s through 2000, addresses relevant theory, and considers criticisms of masculinity and femininity measurement as well as the challenges of responding to them. Implications of the use of such measures by counselors, researchers, and counselor educators are discussed.