Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Bem, Sandra

  • Maureen C. McHughEmail author
  • Carla Golden
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1209-1


Sandra Lipsitz Bem (1944–2014) was an American feminist psychologist.


Sandra Bem, feminist psychologist, died in 2014, leaving a legacy of scholarship which challenged us to (re)conceptualize gender and consider how gender prescriptions impact our lives and relationships (Golden and McHugh 2015). Sandra Bem presented ideas that challenged established notions of gender and sexuality. For example, Sandra Bem (1974) challenged the traditional position that masculinity and femininity were bipolar opposites and that being sex typed (expressing characteristics thought to be consistent with one’s biological sex) is mentally healthy. She introduced a theory of androgyny in which masculinity and femininity are conceptualized and measured independently. In her theory, an individual who enacts high levels of positive masculine and feminine characteristics is androgynous. She also detailed the concepts of gender schemas and androcentrism and critiqued biological...


Gender Role Gender Schema Feminine Trait Gender Schema Theory Compulsory Heterosexuality 
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  1. Bem, S. L. (1974). The measurement of psychological androgyny. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 42, 155–162.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bem, S. L. (1975). Sex role adaptability: One consequence of psychological androgyny. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 31, 634–643.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  4. Bem, S. L. (1979). The theory and measurement of androgyny: A reply to the Pedhazur-Tetenbaum and Locksley-Colten critiques. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 1047–1054.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  7. Bem, S. L. (1993). The lenses of gender: Transforming the debate on sexual inequality. New haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyIndiana University of PennsylvaniaIndianaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyIthaca CollegeIthacaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Ashton Southard
    • 1
  1. 1.Oakland UniversityRochesterUSA