Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Sandra Bem

Sandra Bem

I stopped doing empirical research in the early 1990s.

During the 1970's and 1980's, I did both empirical and theoretical work focused on the social construction of gender and sexuality, including the development of the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI), a widely used tool to assess masculinity, femininity, and androgyny, (Please note that Mind Garden owns the copyright for the BSRi and can be reached at the following web address:

Beginning in the late 1980s, I shifted away from empirical research and wrote two books, both published by Yale University Press. The first was The Lenses of Gender: Transforming the Debate on Sexual Inequality (1993), a conceptual and interdisciplinary project. The second was a memoir entitled An Unconventional Family (1998).

In the late 1990s, I retrained in clinical psychology, thereby fulfilling a lifelong desire and also honoring "the road not taken" at an earlier time. Since then, I have had a small private practice specializing in trauma, and I have also been teaching a senior seminar at Cornell entitled "Trauma and Treatment."

I have been in phased retirement at Cornell for the last five years and will be fully retired from Cornell as of July 1, 2010. After my Cornell retirement, however, I will continue to have a small private practice.

Primary Interests:

  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Close Relationships
  • Gender Psychology
  • Intergroup Relations
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping
  • Research Methods, Assessment
  • Self and Identity
  • Sexuality, Sexual Orientation


Journal Articles:

  • Bem, S. L. (1995). Dismantling gender polarization and compulsory heterosexuality: Should we turn the volume down or up? Journal of Sex Research, 32(4), 329-334.

Other Publications:

  • Bem, S. L. (1994). In a male-centered world, female differences are transformed into female disadvantages. Chronicle of Higher Education, B1-B2.

Sandra Bem
Department of Psychology
Uris Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14853-7601
United States

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