Male Role Norms Inventory (MRNI)

The Male Role Norms Inventory (MNRI) is a 58-item self-reported measure of individual beliefs about male gender norms, comprising of seven subscales: Avoidance of Femininity, Restrictive Emotionally, Aggression, Achievement/Status, Self-Reliance, Homophobia, and Attitudes Toward Sex. Different aspects of male role norms captured by this scale include physical appearance, confidence, expression of emotions, and sexual behaviors.


Geographies Tested: United States of America

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adolescents, Adults


Sub-scale: Avoidance of Femininity

1. Housework is women's work.
2. Jobs like firefighter and electrician should be reserved for men.
3. Boys should prefer to play with trucks rather than dolls.
4. A man should prefer football to needlecraft.
5. Boys should not throw baseballs like girls.
6. A man should avoid holding his wife's purse at all times.
7. Men should be allowed to wear bracelets.*
8. It is too feminine for a man to use clear nail polish on his fingernails.

Subscale: Restrictive Emotionally

9. Men should be detached in emotionally charged situations.
10. Nobody likes a man who cries in public.
11. It's not particularly important for a man to control his emotions.*
12. If a man is in pain, it's better for him to let people know than to keep it to himself.*
13. A man should never reveal worries to others.
14. Fathers should teach their sons to mask fear.
15. One should not be able to tell how a man is feeling by looking at his face.
16. Men should not be too quick to tell others that they care about them.
17. Men should be allowed to kiss their fathers.*
18. Being a little down in the dumps is not a good reason for a man to act depressed.

Subscale: Aggression

19. A man should not force the issue if another man takes his parking space.*
20. Boys should be encouraged to find a means of demonstrating physical prowess.
21. A man who has no taste for adventure is not very appealing.
22. Men should get up to investigate if there is a strange noise in the house at night.
23. A boy should be allowed to quit a game if he is losing.*
24. When physically provoked, men should not resort to violence.*
25. It is important for a man to take risks, even if he might get hurt.
26. When the going gets tough, men should get tough.

Subscale: AchievementStatus

27. If necessary, a man should sacrifice personal relationships for career advancement.
28. It's not important for men to strive to reach the top.*
29. In a group, it's up to the men to get things organized and moving ahead.
30. A man should do whatever it takes to be admired and respected.
31. It's o.k. for a man to buy a fast, shiny sports car if he wants, even if he may have to stretch beyond his budget.
32. A man should always be the major provider in his family.
33. It's o.k. for a man to ask for help changing a tire.*
34. A man should try to win at any sport he participates in.
35. Men should have goals and be determined to achieve them.
36. Men should make the final decision involving money.

Subscale: Self-Reliance

37. A man should never count on someone else to get the job done.
38. A man should think things out logically and have good reason for what he does.
39. Men should always be realistic.
40. A man should be level-headed.
41. A man should never doubt his own judgement.
42. A man must be able to make his own way in the world.
43. A man who takes a long time and has difficulty making decisions will usually not be respected.

Subscale: Homophobia

44. Being called "faggot" is one of the worst insults to a man or boy.
45. A man should not continue a friendship with another man if he finds out that the other man is homosexual.
46. A man should be able to openly show affection to another man.*
47. There are some subjects which men should not talk about with other men.
48. It is disappointing to learn that a famous athlete is gay.

Subscale: Attitudes Toward Sex

49. A man should always be ready for sex.
50. A man doesn't need to have an erection in order to enjoy sex.*
51. It is important for a man to be good in bed.
52. A man should love his sex partner.*
53. Men should always take the initiative when it comes to sex.
54. A man shouldn't have to worry about birth control.
55. For a man, sex should be a spontaneous, rather than pre-planned activity.
56. For men, touching is simply the first step toward sex.
57. Hugging and kissing should always lead to intercourse.
58. A man shouldn't bother with sex unless he can achieve an orgasm.

*Items reverse coded during scoring

Response Options:
(7-point scale)
Strongly disagree - 1
Strongly agree - 7

Scoring Procedures

Higher scores indicate more traditional gender role beliefs. Reverse coding is necessary for some items to ensure that scores indicate the same direction for all variables.

Original Citation

Levant, R. F., Hirsch, L. S., Celentano, E., Cozza, T. M., et al. (1992). The male role: An investigation of contemporary norms. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 14(3), 325–337.

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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