Sex Typing and the Social Perception of Gender Stereotypic and Nonstereotypic Behavior: The Uniqueness of Feminine Males

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The social perception of masculine, feminine, androgynous and undifferentiated males was examined. Preadolescent boys (n = 251) were shown a video film portraying a male target playing either a masculine game with boys, a feminine game with girls, a neutral game with boys, or a neutral game with girls and were required to make a variety of inferences about him. All 4 groups made similar cognitive stereotypic inferences that varied in accordance with the gender stereotypic nature of the target's behavior. However, for the affective judgments (e.g., liking the target and wanting to engage in activities with him), the feminine males showed a pattern of inferences that was not only different from other sex role orientations, but often the reverse. The implications of these results for S. L. Bem's gender schema theory (1981) and H. Markus's self schema theory (H. Markus, M. Crane, S. L. Bernstein, & M. Siladi, 1982) are discussed.

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