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Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos del Principado de Asturias).
We currently publish four issues per year, which accounts for some 100 articles annually. We admit work from both the basic and applied research fields, and from all areas of Psychology, all manuscripts being anonymously reviewed prior to publication.

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Psicothema, 2011. Vol. Vol. 23 (nº 2). 167-172




Un siglo de investigaciones sobre masculinidad y feminidad:una revisión crítica

Juan Fernández Sánchez

Universidad Complutense de Madrid

El estudio psicológico de la masculinidad (M) y la feminidad (F), a lo largo del siglo xx, muestra dos planteamientos bien distintos. En la primera mitad se parte del continuo bipolar, mientras que en la segunda predomina la concepción de dos dimensiones ortogonales. Los estudios empíricos realizados en diversos países con las escalas de M y F clásicas manifiestan que los datos no apoyan ni el presupuesto del continuo bipolar, ni la estrecha relación entre masculinidad/varón y feminidad/mujer como patrón único de desarrollo funcional, ni la validez convergente de los distintos instrumentos de evaluación. A su vez, los resultados obtenidos con las nuevas escalas de M y F ponen de manifiesto que parece más coherente hablar de multidimensionalidad que de bidimensionalidad, que las distintas escalas no son equivalentes y que se adolece de una falta de teoría capaz de guiar la elaboración de nuevos instrumentos de valoración de estos constructos. Al inicio del siglo xxi, tras la evaluación crítica de lo realizado a lo largo de los casi cien años anteriores, nos encontramos ante una duda esencial: ¿merece la pena seguir hablando de M y F dentro del ámbito científico y, más concretamente, dentro del área de la psicología?

A century of research on masculinity and femininity: A critical review. The psychological study of masculinity (M) and femininity (F) throughout the twentieth century shows two very different approaches. In the first half of last century, authors try to test the bipolar continuum hypothesis, whereas during the second half, the hypothesis of two orthogonal dimensions predominates. Empirical studies carried out in various countries with the classic M and F scales show that the data do not support: a) the bipolar continuum hypothesis; b) the close relationship between masculinity/men and femininity/women as the single pattern of functional development; and c) the convergence validity of the different assessment instruments. In turn, the empirical results obtained with the new M and F scales show: a) the multidimensionality instead of bi-dimensionality of the different scales; b) that the different M and F scales are not equivalent; and c) that there is no theory capable of guiding the development of new scales to assess these constructs. At the beginning of the 21st century, after the critical evaluation of the studies carried out during about 100 years, we face a critical question: Is it worthwhile to continue talking about M and F within the field of science and, more specifically, within the field of psychology?

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