In spite of a commitment to equality, the kibbutz is a male-dominated society with highly differentiated sex roles. Has this gap between ideals and reality created sex role strain for kibbutz-born adolescents and adults? Previous kibbutz studies have suggested that sex role strain may be the most intense among adult kibbutz women. Based on Erik Erikson's developmental model, however, we hypothesized that adolescent females would experience significantly greater sex role strain than other kibbutz members, including adult women. Adolescent and adult males and females were tested using Loevinger's ego development test. The sex role items of the test were used to construct a new measure of sex role strain. The global index included the following submeasures: avoidance of sex role issues; expression of intellectual, emotional, or behavioral sex role conflict; and evaluative attitudes toward male roles and female roles. Significant cohort or sex differences were found on the global index and on all submeasures of sex role strain. The findings indicate that sex role strain is greatest among adolescent females, followed by adolescent males. Adult kibbutz women, however, are significantly more likely to focus their dissatisfaction in the area of actual role behavior rather than in terms of how they intellectually conceptualize kibbutz sex roles, as is the case for adolescents and adult males.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)