Feminist Perspectives Scale -Attitudes

The Feminist Perspectives Scale-Attitudes is a 60-item self-reported measure of attitudes towards women's issues. It incorporates six theoretically derived perspectives: conservative; liberal, radical, socialist, and cultural feminist; and women of color.


Geographies Tested: United States of America

Populations Included: Female, Male, Other

Age Range: Adolescents, Adults


Conservative Perspective
1. Given the way that men are, women have a responsibility not to arouse them by their dress and actions.
2. Women should not be direct participants in government because they are too emotional.
3. A man's first responsibility is to obtain economic success, while his wife should care for the family's needs.
4. Homosexuals need to be rehabilitated into normal members of society.
5. The breakdown of the traditional family structure is responsible for the evils in our society.
6. It is a man's right and duty to maintain order in his family by whatever means necessary.
7. The world is a more attractive place because women pay attention to their appearance and smiles.
8. Women should not be assertive like men because men are the natural leaders on earth.
9. Using "he" for "he or she" is convenient and harmless to men and women.
10. Heterosexuality is the only natural sexual preference.

Liberal Feminist Perspective
11. Whether one chooses a traditional or alternative family form should be a matter of personal choice.
12. People should define their marriage and family roles in ways that make them feel most comfortable.
13. The government is responsible for making sure that all women receive an equal chance at education and employment.
14. The availability of adequate child care is central to a woman's right to work outside the home.
15. Homosexuality is not a moral issue, but rather a question of liberty and freedom of expression.
16. Social change for sexual equality will best come about by acting through federal, state, and local government.
17. Legislation is the best means to ensure a woman's choice of whether or not to have an abortion.
18. Women should try to influence legislation in order to gain the right to make their own decisions and choices.
19. Women should have the freedom to sell their sexual services.
20. Men need to be liberated from oppressive sex role stereotypes as much as women do.

Radical Feminist Perspective
21. Pornography exploits female sexuality and degrades all women.
22. Using "man" to mean both men and women is one of many ways sexist language destroys women's existence.
23. Sex role stereotypes are only one symptom of the larger system of patriarchal power, which is the true source of women's subordination.
24. The workplace is organized around men's physical, economic, and sexual oppression of women.
25. Men's control over women forces women to be the primary caretakers of children.
26. Men use abortion laws and reproductive technology to control women's lives.
27. Men prevent women from becoming political leaders through their control of economic and political institutions.
28. Marriage is a perfect example of men's physical, economic, and sexual oppression of women.
29. Romantic love brainwashes women and forms the basis for their subordination.
30. Rape is ultimately a powerful tool that keeps women in their place, subservient to and terrorized by men.

Socialist Feminist Perspective
31. Capitalism and sexism are primarily responsible for the increased divorce rate and general breakdown of families.
32. Making women economically dependent on men is capitalism's subtle way of encouraging heterosexual relationships.
33. A socialist restructuring of businesses and institutions is necessary for women and people of color to assume equal leadership with White men.
34. Romantic love supports capitalism by influencing women to place men's emotional and economic needs first.
35. The way to eliminate prostitution is to make women economically equal to men.
36. Capitalism hinders a poor woman's chance to obtain adequate prenatal medical care or an abortion.
37. It is the capitalist system which forces women to be responsible for child care.
38. All religion is like a drug to people and is used to pacify women and other oppressed groups.
39. Capitalism forces most women to wear feminine clothes to keep a job.
40. The personalities and behaviors of "women" and "men" in our society have developed to fit the needs of advanced capitalism.

Cultural Feminist Perspective
41. Prostitution grows out of the male culture of violence and male values of social control.
42. Replacing the word "God" with "Goddess" will remind people that the deity is not male.
43. Men should follow women's lead in religious matters, because women have a higher regard love and peace than men.
44. Putting women in positions of political power would bring about new systems of government that promote peace.
45. Traditional notions of romantic love should be replaced with ideas based on feminine values of kindness and concern for all people.
46. By not using sexist and violent language, we can encourage peaceful social change.
47. Beauty is feeling one's womanhood through peace, caring, and nonviolence.
48. Women's experience in life's realities of cleaning, feeding people, caring for babies, etc., makes their vision of reality clearer than men's.
49. Rape is best stopped by replacing the current male-oriented culture of violence with an alternative culture based on more gentle, womanly qualities.
50. Bringing more women into male-dominated professions would make the professions less cutthroat and competitive.

Women of Color Perspective
51. In education and legislation to stop rape, ethnicity and race must be treated sensitively to ensure that women of color are protected equally.
52. Racism and sexism make double the oppression for women of color in the work environment.
53. Women of color have less legal and social service protection from being battered than White women have.
54. Women of color are oppressed by White standards of beauty.
55. Being put on a pedestal, which White women have protested, is a luxury that women of color have not had.
56. Antigay and racist prejudice act together to make it more difficult for gay male and lesbian people of color to maintain relationships.
57. In rape programs and workshops, not enough attention has been given to the special needs
58. Discrimination in the workplace is worse for women of color than for all men and White women.
59. Much of the talk about power for women overlooks the need to empower people of all races and colors first.
60. The tradition of Afro-American women who are strong family leaders has strengthened the Afro-American community as a whole.

Response Options:
Strongly disagree - 1
Moderately disagree - 2
Somewhat disagree - 3
Undecided - 4
Somewhat agree - 5
Moderately agree - 6
Strongly agree - 7

Scoring Procedures

Items scores are summed to create sub-scale and total scale scores.

Original Citation

Henley, N. M., Meng, K., O'Brien, D., McCarthy, W. J., & Sockloskie, R. J. (1998). Developing a scale to measure the diversity of feminist attitudes. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 22, 317-348.

Psychometric Score

Ease of Use Score

Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



Ease of Use


Scoring Clarity


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