Development of the Gender Roles and Male Provision Expectations Scale

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Archives of sexual behavior




Gender inequality; HIV; Male provider role; Sub-Saharan Africa; Uganda


Existing composite measures assess the extent to which women and men support masculinity ideals concerning the expectation that men should provide for their partners and families. In many contexts across sub-Saharan Africa, the male provider role is taken as given. This core masculinity tenet may be associated with related gender role expectations that result in increasing young women's risk of HIV, especially within the context of transactional sex relationships. Extant literature points to five domains potentially associated with male provider role expectations: male authority, men's sexual decision-making control, women's sexual agency, women's economic dependence, and love. The goal of this study was to develop the Gender Roles and Male Provision Expectations (GRMPE) scale toward understanding whether beliefs attached to male provider role expectations increase HIV risk. We developed the GRMPE across three research phases with young women (ages 15-24) in Central Uganda that (1) used qualitative data to refine domains and develop scale items; (2) cognitively tested the refined items; and (3) pilot tested a 26-item scale across five domains with 108 young women. Using confirmatory factor analyses, we retained 15 items across four factors, corresponding to the domains of male authority, sexual decision-making, women's sexual agency, and love; which we then modeled as indicators in a single second-order factor model. The GRMPE demonstrated initial reliability and validity, and tests of criterion validity found significant associations with known HIV risk behaviors. The GRMPE scale shows promise for better examining the determinants of HIV risk and assessing gender norm change interventions.


Prevention and Community Health