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Friday 17th July, 11:00 - 12:30 Room: N-131

Measuring gender role attitudes

Convenor Ms Jessica Walter (GESIS - Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences )
Coordinator 1Mr Christof Wolf (GESIS - Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences)

Session Details

Many studies analyze gender role attitudes, in particular how they change over time or how they differ across countries. These studies depend on the quality of measures provided in surveys. In most international or national omnibus surveys based on representative samples, indicators of gender role attitudes are part of a complex questionnaire. Consequently, surveys mainly use short measures of gender role attitudes which were usually developed in the1970s and 1980s.
For analyses over time or/and across countries the equivalence of measures of gender role attitudes is crucial. Measures of gender role attitudes should not change over time and should not depend on the cultural context. Social changes such as a differentiation of family patterns and changes in (female) labor force participation and education challenge the assumption that the measures are equivalent over time. Based on these changes we suggest that the measures of gender role attitudes need to be revisited and updated. By doing so, different cultural contexts, which may limit the equivalence of measures of gender role attitudes across countries, also come into focus.
The session aims at discussing how equivalence of measures of gender role attitudes over time and across countries can be ensured and how these measures can be adjusted to social changes. The focus of the discussion is on adjustments of measures of gender role attitudes which improve the equivalence of measures and on best practices for an implementation of improved measures in cross-cultural or longitudinal surveys.
We welcome all papers which deal with the advancement of measures of gender role attitudes or use new measures of gender role attitudes with focus on analyses over time and/or across countries.

Paper Details

1. Improving measures of gender role attitudes – an approach using the German General Social Survey
Mrs Jessica Gabriele Walter (GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)

Due to social change - like the increase of female labor force participation - measures of gender role attitudes should be revisited. The developments suggest that especially measures regarding roles of men and more egalitarian models of division of labor within the family are missing. Data from two pretests for the German General Social Survey (ALLBUS) are used to evaluate new measures of gender role attitudes which fill this gap. Results indicate that the phrasing of items matters and give further suggestions for improvement of measures in use.

2. Assessing the measurement reliability of scale taping attitudes towards gender roles in cross-cultural surveys. What went wrong in EVS 2008?
Ms Vera Lomazzi (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan)
Dr Malina Voicu (GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)
Dr Ruud Luijkx (Tilburg University)

Several factors may affect the comparability of scales regarding gender role attitudes. Using data from EVS (2000, 2008) and ISSP (2002, 2012) we aim to prove that also priming affects the measurement reliability and cross-cultural invariance.
EVS and ISSP use similar items in successive waves to tap attitudes towards gender roles. Reliability and partial invariance are achieved in the waves considered, except of EVS 2008.
As the first data screening suggested, we test the priming effect of the scale regarding attitudes towards non-standard family behavior (positioned only in 2008 right before the gender roles one) using Structural Equation

3. The Changing Construct of Gender Role Attitude – An Application of MCA
Ms Alice Barth (Research Assistant)

Many items used to assess gender role attitudes were developed more than 30 years ago. Given considerable social and demographic changes in gender relations today, it is a strong assumption that respondents’ understanding of the items has remained constant. I propose the application of multiple correspondence analysis to examine the properties of gender role scales over time. Using data from panel and repeated cross-section surveys, it is shown that construct equivalence rarely holds – instead, the amount of variance that is captured by methodological artefacts increases over time. Implications for the validity of current gender role measures will be discussed.

4. Measurement Equivalence of Gender Role Attitudes in East and West Germany?
Mr Torsten Lietzmann (Institute for Employment Research, Germany)
Dr Arne Bethmann (Mannheim University )

In this paper we present an assessment of the magnitude of measurement error using data from the German panel study “Labour Market and Social Security”, which allows for a detailed comparison of measurement models for gender role attitudes in the eastern and western part of Germany and between men and women. We can show that with adequate modelling valid comparisons of mean gender role attitudes between the two German regions are feasible.