Dr. Richard Lippa of California State University, Fullerton, will be speaking on his research about sex differences and sexual orientation.
This event will take place on the CMC campus. McKenna Auditorium is #9 on the map below.
Dr. Lippa's research focuses on gender and gender-related individual differences -- in common-sense terms, "masculinity" and "femininity." His approach to measuring masculinity and femininity is termed gender diagnosticity, and it is based on the assumption that behaviors that show gender differences in a given population can serve as measures of masculinity and femininity within the sexes. For example, occupational preference ratings that show gender differences in a given population can be used to assess masculinity and femininity within the sexes.
Other measures of masculinity and femininity have included bipolar masculinity-femininity (M-F) scales and scales of masculine instrumentality (i.e., dominance, agency) and feminine expressiveness (i.e., nurturance, communion). Bipolar M-F scales were used extensively in research on M-F conducted from the 1930s to 1970s. Two-dimensional measures of masculinity and femininity (scales that assess instrumental and expressive traits) were dominant from the 1970s to 1990s, and are still used by some researchers today.
In addition to comparing competing conceptions of masculinity and femininity, Dr. Lippa's research also investigates the relation between measures of masculinity and femininity and various criteria, including social behaviors, personality traits, cognitive abilities, and sexual traits and attitudes. For example, the research has addressed the following questions:
- Are masculinity and femininity related to cognitive abilities (e.g., general intelligence, visual-spatial ability, verbal fluency, interpersonal perceptiveness)?
- Are masculinity and femininity related to psychological adjustment, and are different kinds of masculinity and femininity associated with different kinds of adjustment and maladjustment?
- Are masculinity and femininity related to nonverbal behaviors? For example, can people accurately judge how masculine or feminine an individual is based on his or her appearance and demeanor?
- How do lay people conceptualize and judge M-F in themselves and others?
- Are masculinity and femininity related to sexual orientation and to other aspects of sexual behavior?
- Are masculinity and femininity related to transsexualism, and which measures of masculinity and femininity best distinguish transsexual from non-transsexual individuals?
- Are masculinity and femininity related to prejudice, and if so, to what kinds of prejudice?
- Do individual differences in masculinity and femininity have both genetic and environmental components?
- Are masculinity and femininity related to physical health and mortality?