Towards Assessment of Gender Identity
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The main purpose of this study was to investigate means of assessing gender identity, which has been defined as a core sense of maleness of femaleness. Herein gender identity has been conceptualized as a cognitive schema, particularly as the embedding of a gender subschema in the self schema. Three assessment approaches, based on this conceptualization , were explored. One hundred twenty (60 males) university students completed the Draw-A-Person Test and following a self-referent task, either a recall or recognition test. It was hypothesized that differential performances would be exhibited by male and female subjects on each of these measure; for example, male subjects were expected to draw more complex male than female figures, recall a male word first and recall more male than female words, false alarm to more male words and miss more female words. Both the Draw-A-Person Test and the recognition condition failed to elicit the expected data; modification to the methodologies used in these conditions are discussed. In the recall condition 80% of the male and 75.9% of the female subjects did recall a same-gender word first; additionally, female subjects did recall more female than male words, while male subjects did not perform as was hypothesized. These results are discussed and it is concluded that, while they are encouraging, further clarifying research is necessary if devices for assessing gender identity are to be developed.