This page documents the development of the Open Sex-Role Inventory (currently at v1.0). The interactive version can be found here.
The Bem Sex-Role Inventory is one of the most popular measures used to study gender differences in personality. It measures masculinity and femininity as two separate scales. This contrasts to most earlier tests that conceptualized masculinity as the opposite of femininity and measured on one scale.
The BSRI is copyrighted and commercialized by Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc. so an open-source version is needed.Development approach
The approach taken to develop the OSRI was to collect a list of questions that showed a large gender difference, then analyze them with factor analysis to see if Bem's two factor solution could be fit.
An initial screening procedure looked at 2,610 self-report items, and the average gender difference for each was computed using a multitude of different samples. Download the full list of items with their statistics here.
From the items on this list that had the highest correlation with gender, a selection of 44 was taken as a beta version of the OSRI and made available on the internet. Using this beta version, responses were collected from 316,256 internet participants along with demographic information. This sample will be the focus of this analysis.
The structure of the 44 items was investigated with factor analysis using varimax rotation. An inspection of the scree plot provides strong evidence that gender differences do not fall along a single continuum. Instead, a 2 factor solution is suggested.
This is consistent with the Bem Sex-Role Inventory and so Bem's nomenclature will continue to be used for the OSRI.
The factor analysis loadings for the 44 items are in the table below. Loadings greater that 0.3 are shaded.
|Item||Loading, factor 1||Loading, factor 2|
|I have studied how to win at gambling.||-0.16||0.39|
|I have thought about dying my hair.||0.56||-0.13|
|I have thrown knives, axes or other sharp things.||-0.04||0.62|
|I give people handmade gifts.||0.54||0|
|I have day dreamed about saving someone from a burning building.||0||0.44|
|I get embarrassed when people read things I have written.||0.24||-0.03|
|I have been very interested in historical wars.||-0.13||0.38|
|I know the birthdays of my friends.||0.39||-0.19|
|I like guns.||-0.21||0.53|
|I am happiest when I am in my bed.||0.26||-0.06|
|I did not work very hard in school.||-0.13||0.22|
|I use lotion on my hands.||0.43||-0.23|
|I would prefer a class in mathematics to a class in pottery.||-0.35||0.16|
|I dance when I am alone.||0.54||-0.04|
|I have thought it would be exciting to be an outlaw.||0.03||0.58|
|When I was a child, I put on fake concerts and plays with my friends.||0.52||-0.09|
|I have considered joining the military.||-0.11||0.48|
|I get dizzy when I stand up sharply.||0.29||0.04|
|I do not think it is normal to get emotionally upset upon hearing about the deaths of people you did not know.||-0.3||0.33|
|I sometimes feel like crying when I get angry.||0.55||-0.23|
|I do not remember birthdays.||-0.27||0.25|
|I save the letters I get.||0.47||-0.12|
|I playfully insult my friends.||0.01||0.33|
|I oppose medical experimentation with animals.||0.35||-0.13|
|I could do an impressive amount of push ups.||-0.21||0.37|
|I jump up and down in excitement sometimes.||0.53||-0.06|
|I think a natural disaster would be kind of exciting.||-0.03||0.61|
|I wear a blanket around the house.||0.5||-0.05|
|I have burned things up with a magnifying glass.||-0.07||0.49|
|I think horoscopes are fun.||0.52||-0.1|
|I don't pack much luggage when I travel.||-0.31||0.32|
|I have thought about becoming a vegetarian.||0.33||-0.09|
|I hate shopping.||-0.32||0.24|
|I have kept a personal journal.||0.48||-0.11|
|I have taken apart machines just to see how they work.||-0.08||0.53|
|I take lots of pictures of my activities.||0.5||-0.1|
|I have played a lot of video games.||-0.15||0.32|
|I leave nice notes for people now and then.||0.57||-0.07|
|I have set fuels, aerosols or other chemicals on fire, just for fun.||-0.07||0.65|
|I really like dancing.||0.52||-0.07|
|I take stairs two at a time.||-0.11||0.37|
|I bake sweets just for myself sometimes.||0.48||-0.05|
|I think a natural disaster would be kind of exciting.||-0.03||0.62|
|I decorate my things (e.g. stickers on laptop).||0.56||-0.06|
These results along with some considerations for item content were used to produce the OSRI v1.0.
The OSRI version 1.0 consists of 20 items, 10 for each scale. The items are below.
The format used during test development was a 5 point likert scale, but there is no reason a different response format could not be used.
Updated: 17 April 2019