Cognitive consequences of personal involvement in gender identity

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Classification as masculine, feminine, high androgynous, or low androgynous on the basis of a single measure of gender identity was not related to cognitive performance or activity preferences in a sample of college students (n=190). Subjects for whom a traditional gender identity was high as a self-concern ("more involved") were then identified by the consistency of their responses across three gender identity measures and by the extremity of their self-descriptions. Subjects for whom a traditional gender identity was low as a self-concern ("less involved") were identified by the inconsistency in their responses and the lack of extremity in their self-descriptions. More involved men performed significantly better on the number test, and had a significantly higher preference for masculine activities than more involved women, less involved men, or less involved women. Less involved men and women also preferred significantly more masculine activities than did more involved women. More and less involved men reported taking more years of mathematics in high school than did more and less involved women. No effects for sex or involvement were observed on verbal performance or preference for feminine activities. The implications of these findings for the evaluation of inconsistencies between gender identity and behavior were discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)923-939
Number of pages17
JournalSex Roles
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - Nov 1984

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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