Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Department of Psychology


An extensive review of the M-F and the Androgyny paradigms indicated the need for a new sex role identity instrument, which obviated a number of conceptual and methodological problems inherent in existing instruments. The primary concern of this investigation, therefore, was the development and validation of a new sex role identity instrument - the SRI Reptest.

The SRI Reptest is based on Kelly's Personal Construct theory, and recent advances in sex role development models. In particular, this instrument incorporates the notion of sex role salience, and makes it possible to characterise an individual as masculine, feminine, androgynous, or sex role transcendent.

With this instrument sex role identity, as well as the relationship of sex role identity to self-esteem and ego development, was examined from a cross-cultural perspective.

216 Australian and 115 Indian university students completed a test battery which consisted of the SRI Reptest, the Same-Sex Ideal Form, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and Loevinger's Sentence Completion Test. In addition, interviews conducted with a select sample of subjects from the two countries enabled the testing of the tenability of two basic assumptions underlying recent sex role development models.

The findings of the investigation are important for two reasons: (1) They draw attention to the potential usefulness of the sex role identity instrument thus developed; and (2) They show that social structures, cultural norms, and value systems are not only important in influencing sex role identity, but these variables are also important in influencing the relationship between sex role identity and self-esteem.