The Bem Sex-Role Inventory (BSRI) is one of Sandra Bem’s most notable contributions to feminist psychology, measuring an individual’s identification with traditionally masculine and feminine qualities. In a cross-temporal meta-analysis of U.S. college students’ scores on the BSRI (34 samples, N = 8,027), we examined changes in ratings on the Bem masculinity (M) and femininity (F) scales since the early 1990s. Additional analyses used data collected in a previous meta-analysis (Twenge 1997) to document changes since the BSRI’s inception in 1974. Our results reveal that women’s femininity scores have decreased significantly (d = −.26) between 1993 and 2012, whereas their masculinity remained stable. No significant changes were observed for men.This bodes very poorly for the USA, as the sexual imbalance at the college level already means that many of the best and brightest women will not marry due to an inability to meet their hypergamous desires with smarter and more successful men.
But it is interesting to note that it is not just your imagination that young women are becoming increasingly less feminine, and thereby, less attractive to men. Women, if you want to stand out from the ugly crowd, act more feminine, not less.