An Analysis of Sex-Roles and Their Relationships to Self-Esteem, Birth Order, Race, Socioeconomic Class, and Age
The problem. The purpose of the study was to determine the relationships between sex-roles and the variables of self-esteem, birth order, race, socioeconomic class, and age. Recent research results are divided between encouraged adoption of androgynous and masculine sex-roles. Many studies indicate that so called androgynous individuals are higher in self-esteem and more self-actualized than other individuals. Other recent research indicates that the masculine sex-role for men and women provides higher self-esteem and fewer psychological problems. The purpose of this study was to determine which sex-role provided the highest self-esteem scores for students in a technical high school. The study also examined the four sex-roles to determine if sex-roles and independent of birth order, race, socioeconomic class, and age. Procedure. Subjects were students at Des Moines Technical High School who volunteered to participate in the study. Participants were given the Bem Sex-Role Inventory and the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory. Subjects were asked to identify their birth order as first or only, middle or youngest. Subjects also stated their race, age to the nearest year, and occupation of head of household. An analysis of variance was performed for the sex-roles and self-esteem. To determine placement of significant differences t-tests were performed. Chi squares of independence were performed for sex-roles and birth order, sex-roles and race, sex-roles and socioeconomic class, and sex-roles and age. Findings. Results of the study indicated that students who adopted the masculine sex-role were significantly higher in self-esteem than androgynous students. Androgynous students were significantly higher in self-esteem than feminine and undifferentiated students. Feminine and undifferentiated students were not significantly different from each other in terms of self-esteem.
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