Graduate Program

Clinical Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

James E. Kantner


Sex-role orientation was investigated in terms of how it related to occupational choice. Sex-role orientation was defined in the following manner: one was either androgynous, masculine, feminine or indeterminate (Bern, 1974). Androgyny is a term used to describe individuals who are flexible in their sex-role orientation, individuals who are capable of being both instrumental and expressive, assertive and yielding, independent and dependent. Masculinity is associated with an instrumental orientation, a concern for oneself and getting the job done and a fondness for what man can make. Femininity is associated with an expressive communal orientation, an affective concern for the welfare of others and the harmony of the group and a devotion to healing. One is indeterminate when one does not identify with either masculinity or femininity.

These categories were arrived at by using the PRF ANDRO Scale scoring system (Berzins, Welling & Wetter, 1976). Androgynous individuals are typically seen as more skillful and adjusted. It was hypothesized that there would be more male androgynous individuals in the nursing occupation than the teaching occupation, given that nursing is seen as a typically feminine occupation and teaching as a neutral occupation (Panek, Rush & Greenawalt, 1977).

Subjects were 27 male registered nurses from hospitals in Cincinnati, Ohio and 27 male high school teachers in Cincinnati, Ohio. A Chi-Square was performed and no significant relationship was found between sex-role orientation and occupational choice. This lack of relationship was discussed in terms of the possibility that androgynous individuals choose varied occupations, that the older age and higher educational level of the teachers may have confounded the study or that society may have become less rigid in occupational divisions. Future research is recommended.