Content and grammatical sex bias on the Interpersonal Trust Scale and differential trust toward women and men

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Abstract

Modified the items on the Interpersonal Trust Scale (ITS) to specify the sex of the reference groups to be trusted in order to study possible content and grammatical sex bias in responses to the ITS and to study whether men and women differ in their trust toward men and women. There was clear evidence for both masculine content sex bias and grammatical sex bias in responses by both college men and women (192 and 322 Ss, respectively). The trust scale provides a conservative estimate of trust toward women and indicates a critical need for ITS-trust-toward-women studies. Men and women indicated greater trust toward women than toward men or non-sex-specified referents wherever comparisons were possible. These findings coupled with differences between J. B. Rotter's trust concept and factors of trust on his scale suggest that 2 aspects of trust are sex linked and also suggest the importance of testing the implicit hypothesis that more important trusting decisions are made toward men than toward women. This study extends sex bias research to personality measures, distinguishes 2 new types of sex bias, and provides a methodology for testing the effects of these biases. (41 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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