Accentuate the Positive …

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Abstract

Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(1), 3–4. Reviews the book, Masculinity and Femininity: Their Psychological Dimensions, Correlates, and Antecedents by Janet T. Spence and Robert L. Helmreich (1978). The authors have given us a full account of their careful exploration of masculinity and femininity. The book is well written, and the authors are to be congratulated for providing clear and concise information about a wealth of data. They have demonstrated that viewing masculinity and femininity as two constructs is more revealing and realistic than viewing them as bipolar opposites. The four-way classification system enriches our understanding of androgyny. Problems such as a need for developmental data and for the exploration of negative attributes of masculinity and femininity are acknowledged but not met. Perhaps because of the detailed information on scale construction, refinement of measurements, and multitudinous correlates, this book will be used more as a reference than as a textbook. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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