Women's Changing Personality Traits. (Your Life)

Article excerpt

Women's roles are changing, and sexual stereotypes may include beliefs about such developments. Social psychology professor Amanda Diekman, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., and colleague Alice Eagly of Northwestern University, Evanston, III., surveyed more than 800 adults on the personality characteristics of men and women of the past, present, and potential future--from 1950 to 2050. Their findings showed a consistent belief that females are increasingly exhibiting personality traits typically associated with males.

"Women are perceived as having become much more assertive, independent, and competitive over the years," Diekman notes. "And our respondents--whether they were old enough to have witnessed it or not--recognized the role change that occurred when women began working outside the home in large numbers and the necessity of adopting characteristics that equip them to be breadwinners."

Conversely, the study showed that men are not perceived to be developing more of the personality characteristics typically associated with women, although the responses tended to differ a bit depending on the participant's age. …