More of a (wo)man offline? Gender roles measured in online and offline environments
March, Evita and Grieve, Rachel and Marx, Eric and Witteveen, Kate, More of a (wo)man offline? Gender roles measured in online and offline environments, Personality and Individual Differences, 55, (8) Article 6. ISSN 0191-8869 (2013) [Refereed Article]
The increased availability of and access to the Internet has resulted in online psychological assessment becoming an attractive mode of collecting data. However, equivalence between online measures and their offline counterpart cannot be assumed. The aim of the current study was to examine for the first time the online and offline equivalence of a commonly employed measure of gender role orientation: the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI) short-form. Participants (N = 372) completed the BSRI short-form
either online (n = 244) or offline (n = 128). Equivalence was assessed through reliability measures and mean differences. Reliability analyses indicated good and comparable levels of internal consistency. There was no significant difference between femininity scores depending on mode of administration.
However, masculinity scores were significantly higher when the BSRI short-form was administered offline.
An additional and unexpected finding was that there was no significant difference between men and women’s masculinity scores. Explanations for the pattern of results seen are considered, including the possible role of social desirability. Future research should further consider conceptualisations of gender in the online environment. Given the findings reported here, it is recommended that researchers collecting gender role data online interpret their findings mindful of possible administration mode effects.
2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
equivalence; online; offline; gender roles; Bem Sex Role Inventory