Gender roles in the experimental community: Rajneeshpuram

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12 Scopus citations


This study examined gender roles at the now disbanded commune of Rajneeshpuram in Eastern Oregon. The study was a multimethod, social-psychological research project. It was expected that community members would describe themselves as androgynous. Both men and women scored high on the Feminine scale of the Personal Attributes Questionnaire, and they rated their ideal partners as androgynous. The interviews indicated that women and men did not think of themselves as feminine or androgynous, but rather as "soft." This concept of softness is not as affect laden as that of femininity, and hence was likely to attenuate the resistance to men becoming more feminine. It was further hypothesized that occupations would have an equal number of women and men. Strict equality was not found, but many occupations manifested more of a gender balance than is seen outside of the commune. In sharp contrast to other findings, femininity was highly correlated with self-esteem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-652
Number of pages24
JournalSex Roles
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - Nov 1 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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