Advisor(s) - Committee Chair
Ernest Owen, Richard Miller, John O’Connor
Department of Psychology
Master of Arts
Female undergraduates from a private college on the east coast were surveyed regarding their feelings about having children and were asked to complete the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI). Eighty-one percent of the respondents indicated a desire to have one or more children. Nineteen percent responded negatively or were uncertain of their feelings at that time. On the BSRI, 12% were classified as Masculine, 38% as Feminine, 37% as Androgynous, 13% as Undifferentiated. Comparison of the Masculine, Feminine and Androgynous groups (the Undifferentiated group was excluded from analysis) showed that the proportion of Feminine women indicating a desire to have children was significantly higher than the proportion of Masculine women. The proportion of Androgynous women indicating a desire to have children was significantly higher than the proportion of Masculine expressing that same desire. No difference was found between the proportion of Feminine women indicating a desire to bear children and the proportion of Masculine women indicating that desire.
The high percentage of women desiring children and the percentage of women in each of the four BSRI classifications was discussed. Explanations were posed for the lack of significant difference between the Feminine and Androgynous groups. Directions for future research were suggested.
Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Women's Studies
Van Buren, Agnes, "Sex Role Orientation and Its Effect on a Woman’s Decision to Parent" (1983). Masters Theses & Specialist Projects. Paper 1831.