FAMILIAL ANTECEDENTS OF SEX-ROLE IDENTITY AS PERCEIVED BY ADOLESCENT FEMALES

HELENE MORSE, Fordham University

Abstract

This study investigated those antecedent variables which may be used to predict the direction of the adolescent female's sex-role identity; namely, whether it is feminine, masculine, or androgynous. Such variables as the mother's work activity outside the home, the adolescent girl's perception of her mother's motivations for working, the adolescent girl's perception of her mother's instrumental traits (specifically, independence and assertiveness) in the home setting, the girl's perception of her father's nurturing behavior toward her, the girl's perception of her father's support of her mother's work, and the girl's perception of her mother's attitudes toward her role were examined in relation to the adolescent female's sex-role identity.^ Subjects for this study were 31 females age 15 through 17 attending urban public high schools. All subjects were from intact middle to upper socioeconomic status families. The subjects were interviewed to ascertain information regarding familial variables.^ Results of the qualitative and quantitative analyses indicated that the adolescent with a feminine sex-role identity has a mother who is highly achieved but ambivalently involved with her work and maternal roles. The father of the feminine identified girl is not supportive of his wife's work or nurturant of his daughter. The daughter is unable to identify with a suitable model and therefore, it is suggested that she identifies with a stereotypic version of femininity as a substitute for an unsatisfying maternal model. The girl with a masculine sex-role identity has a mother who is excessively invested in success and cannot effectively nurture her daughter. The father is demanding of achievement but offers a more genuinely available model for identification than the mother.^ The girl with an androgynous sex-role identity has a mother who is successful at work and who enjoys both her work and maternal roles. Her father is caring about her and supportive of his wife's work. The girl feels close to at least one of her parents. Both parents are more flexible and have enriched interactions with their daughter.^ Suggestions were discussed for the implementation of programs that can encourage change toward a less restrictive view of sex roles. ^

Subject Area

Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

MORSE, HELENE, "FAMILIAL ANTECEDENTS OF SEX-ROLE IDENTITY AS PERCEIVED BY ADOLESCENT FEMALES" (1986). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8624497.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8624497

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