Measuring Men’s Gender Norms and Gender Role Conflict/Stress in a High HIV-Prevalence South African Setting

Gottert, A., Barrington, C., Pettifor, A., McNaughton-Reyes, H. L., Maman, S., MacPhail, C., Kahn, K., Selin, A., Twine, R., & Lippman, S. A.

Gender norms and gender role conflict/stress may influence HIV risk behaviors among men; however scales measuring these constructs need further development and evaluation in African settings. We conducted exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses to evaluate the Gender Equitable Men’s Scale (GEMS) and the Gender Role Conflict/Stress (GRC/S) scale among 581 men in rural northeast South Africa. The final 17-item GEMS was unidimensional, with adequate model fit and reliability (alpha = 0.79). Factor loadings were low (0.2–0.3) for items related to violence and sexual relationships. The final 24-item GRC/S scale was multidimensional with four factors: Success, power, competitionSubordination to womenRestrictive emotionality; and Sexual prowess. The scale had adequate model fit and good reliability (alpha = 0.83). While GEMS is a good measure of inequitable gender norms, new or revised scale items may need to be explored in the South African context. Adding the GRC/S scale to capture men’s strain related to gender roles could provide important insights into men’s risk behaviors.

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Risk factors


South Africa