The Masculine Behavior Scale (MBS)


Author of Tool: 

Snell, W. E., Jr.

Key references: 

Snell, W. E., Jr. (1989).  Development and validation of the Masculine Behavior Scale:  A measure of behaviors stereotypically attributed to males vs. females. Sex Roles, 21, 749-767.

Primary use / Purpose: 

A measure of stereotypical masculine behaviour traits.


For many years, few scientists questioned the nature, much less the appropriateness of the so-called conventional masculine role. Males were simply expected to become masculine . However, this concept of masculinity has been loosely defined. The Masculine Behavior Scale (MBS) is an objective self-report instrument designed to measure four behavioral tendencies stereotypically imputed more to males vs. females: restrictive emotionality, inhibited affection, success dedication, and exaggerated self-reliance. 


Psychometric analyses confirmed the factorial structure and reliabilities of the subscales on the MBS, and other results provided evidence for the validity of the four MBS subscales. Specifically, it was found that the behavioral measures of success dedication and exaggerated self-reliance were positively correlated with instrumental personality attributes, while restrictive emotionality and inhibited affection behavioral tendencies were negatively correlated with expressive personality attributes. Additional findings indicated that both male and female subjects attributed restrictive emotionality, inhibited affection, success dedication, and exaggerated self-reliance more to males vs. females. However, when males and females were asked to describe themselves, no gender differences emerged for behaviors associated with success dedication and exaggerated self-reliance; females did, however, report engaging in fewer emotionally restricted and affectively inhibited behaviors than did males.


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