Assessing gender biases: Development and initial validation of the gender role stereotypes scale

Maura J. Mills, Satoris S. Culbertson, Ann H. Huffman, Angela R. Connell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this research is to develop and validate a new gender role stereotypes scale intended to be a short, effective, and modern measure of gender role attitudes. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 800 participants completed an online survey, with 546 completing a second survey one week later. Recommended scale development procedures were utilized throughout in order to design and test the proposed instrument. Findings: Item analyses determined a final set of most effective items, while exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses provided support for the eight-item, two-dimensional (female stereotypes, male stereotypes) scale (Gender Role Stereotypes Scale - GRSS). Additionally, internal consistency and test-retest reliabilities were acceptable, as was the construct-related validity. This study also finds that gender role stereotypes are best examined as a two-factor construct (male, female), rather than conceptualized as two poles of a unidimensional continuum. Practical implications: The GRSS has advantages over similar measures, including that it assesses attitudes toward both men and women with only eight items, and includes items that are easily understandable, cross-culturally appropriate, and modern. Practitioners can use the GRSS to assess potential gender role stereotypes held by management. If managers are found to have highly traditional gender role stereotypes, organizations may be able to intervene before stereotypes affect performance ratings or task assignments. Originality/value: This paper yields an updated and sound measurement scale to replace outdated scales assessing similar constructs and/or assessing only one gender role stereotype (male or female, versus both). The GRSS allows for the parsimonious, comprehensive, and effective measurement of gender role stereotypes in research and practice alike.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-540
Number of pages21
JournalGender in Management
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Gender
  • Gender roles
  • Gender stereotypes
  • Measurement
  • Scale development
  • Validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)


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