Nebraska Academy of Sciences


Date of this Version



Published in Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences, Volume 4 (1977).


Copyright 1977 by the Authors; used by permission of the NAS


Observer bias is considerable in studies investigating differences between the characters of the sexes, partly because "masculinity" and "femininity" are not empirical concepts. Instead, they function to sort out phenomena by determining a range of significance, thus encouraging discriminatory evaluation of human action.

To support this I argue:

1. Particular character traits are assessed (valued and understood) differently depending on whether they apply to men or women.

2. Counterexamples to the generalization, "All men are masculine," are not accepted as real counterexamples, but are rather regarded as abnormal (subnormal, not rare).