Previous studies have indicated that the butch-femme identities of lesbian women are related to gender roles (e.g., instrumentality and expressiveness).
This study examined the association between butch and femme lesbian identities and gender nonconformity in both childhood (Study 1: 434 lesbian women and 230 heterosexual women) and adulthood (Study 2: 207 lesbian women and 342 heterosexual women) among women in China. In Study 1 (97 femmes, 76 androgynous women, and 264 butches), butches recalled more childhood gender nonconformity (CGN) than did femmes, androgynous, and heterosexual women, and androgynous women recalled more CGN than did heterosexual women.
In Study 2 (43 femmes, 44 androgynous women, and 120 butches), butches reported more adulthood gender nonconformity (AGN) based on a "people-thing" dimension of interests than did femmes and heterosexual women, and androgynous women reported preferring more masculine hobbies than did femmes or heterosexual women. There was no significant difference in CGN and AGN between femmes and heterosexual women.
These results indicate that femmes are quite similar to heterosexual women with regard to CGN and AGN, thus providing an important extension of previous studies based on a Chinese sample.
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- 1 Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality, Southwest University , Ministry of Education , Chongqing , China.
- 2 Faculty of Psychology , Southwest University , Chongqing , China.
- J Sex Res. 2016 Feb;53(2):186-93. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2015.1058890. Epub 2015 Oct 12.
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