Considerable work has shown the benefits for psychological health of being gender typed (i.e., perceiving oneself in ways that are consistent with one's sex). Nevertheless, little is known about the reasons for the link. In two studies of young adults (total N = 673), we studied (1) the ways in which gender typing is predicted from gender-related interests and personal qualities, and (2) links between gender typing and adjustment (self-esteem and negative emotionality). In the first study, gender typicality was positively predicted by a variety of gender-related characteristics and by communal traits, a female-typed characteristic; gender typicality was also positively associated with adjustment. To clarify the role of communality in predicting gender typicality and its link with adjustment, we conducted a follow-up study examining both gender typicality and "university typicality." Gender typicality was again predicted by gender-related characteristics and communality, and associated with adjustment. Further, university typicality was also predicted by communality and associated with adjustment. Mediation analyses showed that feelings of communality were partly responsible for the links between gender/university typicality and adjustment. Thus, the psychological benefits suggested to accrue from gender typicality may not be specific to gender, but rather may reflect the benefits of normativity in general. These findings were discussed in relation to the broader literature on the relation between identity and adjustment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)