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Attitudes toward Women Scale (AWS)

The Spence-Helmreich Attitudes toward Women Scale (AWS) has three versions that measure attitudes about the rights and roles of women in society in relation to men. *The short (25-item) version is abstracted here.

Developed by:

Janet T. Spence, Robert Helmreic

Measure domains:

vocational, educational, and intellectual roles freedom and independence dating, courtship, and etiquette drinking, swearing, and dirty jokes sexual behavior marital relations and obligations

Items and subscales:

25 items*

6 thematic domains

Outcomes predicted:


Study population(s):

Female and male students in an introductory psychology course a the University of Texas at Austin.

Additional information:

*The original 55-item measure was published in 1972 a subsequent 15-item short scale was published in 1978.

Measure validated?:


Link(s) to Validation Study and/or Measure:

Uses in Other Studies:

Review of Attitudes Toward Women Scale in Sage Knowledge, Encyclopedia of Group Processes & Intergroup Relations.

Uses in Other Studies Links:

Citation of original article

Get citation
Spence, J.T., Helmreich, R. (1972). The attitudes toward women scale: An objective instrument to measure attitudes toward the rights and roles of women in contemporary society. Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology, 2(66).