Is there a g-factor of genderedness? Using a continuous measure of genderedness to assess sex differences in personality, values, cognitive ability, school grades, and educational track

Ville-Juhani Ilmarinen, Mari-Pauliina Vainikainen, Jan-Erik Lönnqvist

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Abstract

Some of the most persistently recurring research questions concern sex differences. Despite much progress, limited research has thus far been undertaken to investigate whether there is one general construct of genderedness that runs through various domains of human individuality. In order to determine whether being gender typical in one way goes together with being gender typical also in other ways, we investigated whether 16-year-old Finnish girls and boys (N = 4106) differ in their personality, values, cognitive abilities, academic achievement, and educational track. To do this, we updated the prediction-focused gender diagnosticity approach by methods of cross-validation for more accurate estimation. The preregistered analysis shows that sex differences vary across domains (Ds = 0.15–1.48), that fine-grained measures, such as grade profiles, can be accurate in predicting sex (77.5%), whereas some summary indices, such as general cognitive ability, do not perform above-chance (52.4%), and that the genderedness correlations, despite all being positive, are too weak (average partial correlation, r´ = .09, range .03–.34) to support a general factor of genderedness. Our more exploratory analyses show that more focus on gender typicality could offer important insights into the role of gender in shaping people’s lives.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Personality
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Apr 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

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