Date of Award

1984

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Wilfred G. A. Futcher

Second Advisor

Selma A. Chaij

Third Advisor

Thesba Johnston

Abstract

Problem. Research has identified culture as one of the factors which reinforces sex-appropriate behaviors and punishes inappropriate behaviors for each gender. The purpose of this study was to validate the theory that culture is an influencing factor in the development of sex-role acquisition through studying two diversely different cultures.

Method. This study employed the Bem Inventory for the measurement of sex-role typing. There were a total of 374 college-age females from either a Chinese culture or Anglo-American culture who participated in the study.The subjects were divided into five groups according to the degree of American acculturation. Three null hypotheses were postulated.

Findings. (1) There were significantly more Anglo-American females in the sex-typed category called androgynous as compared to the four Chinese female groups. (2) There was a higher percentage of Anglo-American females in Bem's feminine category than Chinese females from Hong Kong and Singapore. (3) The percentage of females in the undifferentiated category was higher for all four Chinese groups as compared to the Anglo-American group. (4) The proportion of subjects in the androgynous category increased as expected from Group 1 to Group 5 with the exception of Group 4. (5) The Hong Kong and Singapore Chinese group had the highest proportion of females classified in the masculine category, and the lowest proportion in the feminine category. (6) There were significant differences in both masculinity and femininity mean scores among the five groups. (7) Both Anglo-American females and Chinese females who came to the United States before the age of ten had a masculine mean score which was significantly higher than that of Chinese females from Hong Kong and Singapore. (8) American-born Chinese females generally scored low in masculine and feminine scales as compared to the Chinese who came to the United States before the age of ten. (9) Chinese females from Hong Kong and Singapore had a significantly lower femininity mean score as compared to all the other groups.

Conclusions. The findings in this study validated culture as an influencing factor in the acquisition of sex-role. Based on the assumption that the Anglo-American culture is more androgynous, results indicated that there were a higher percentage of Anglo-American females than of Chinese females classified as androgynous. It verified the hypothesis which posited that there is a relation between sex-role typing and the degree of American acculturation.

Subject Area

Acculturation, Sex role

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