Masculinity and Femininity: A Bipolar Construct and Independent Constructs


  • The authors would like to thank Jack McArdle and Jennifer Barnes for helpful comments on earlier drafts of this article Requests for reprints should be sent to Herbert W Marsh, Faculty of Education, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia


ABSTRACT The present investigation is a reanalysis of data from Antill and Cunningham (1979, 1980, Marsh, Antill, & Cunningham, 1987) consisting of responses to five masculinity-femininity (MF) instruments, two self-esteem instruments, and two social desirability scales Correlations between M and F for the five instruments varied from 23 to approximately - 10, support for distinguishable (nonbipolar) M and F factors was found for four of the instruments Applying confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and hierarchical CFA (HCFA), the present study examined the dimensionality of MF and the influence of method/ halo effects m response to specific instruments The best fitting model identified three higher order factors, in support of traditional personality theories one factor was a bipolar MF construct, but m support of androgyny theory the other two factors were distinguishable M and F factors The factor structures were reasonably invanant for men and women, and methodological implications of this important finding were examined In subsequent analyses, the higher order MF factors were related to self-esteem, social desirability, and gender in order to further test interpretations of the MF factors.