Do They Stay or Do They Go? The Switching Decisions of Individuals Who Enter Gender Atypical College Majors

Do They Stay or Do They Go? The Switching Decisions of Individuals Who Enter Gender Atypical... Drawing on prior theoretical and empirical research on gender segregation within educational fields as well as occupations, we examine the pathways of college students who at least initially embark on a gender-atypical path. Specifically, we explore whether women who enter fields that are male-dominated are more likely to switch fields than their female peers who have chosen other fields, as well as whether men who enter female-dominated majors are more likely to subsequently switch fields than their male peers who have chosen a more normative field. We utilize a sample of 3702 students from a nationally representative dataset on U.S. undergraduates, the Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS 2004/09). Logistic regression models examine the likelihood that students switch majors, controlling for students’ social and academic background. Results reveal different patterns for men and women. Men who enter a female-dominated major are significantly more likely to switch majors than their male peers in other majors. By contrast, women in male-dominated fields are not more likely to switch fields compared to their female peers in other fields. The results are robust to supplementary analyses that include alternative specifications of the independent and dependent variables. The implications of our findings for the maintenance of gendered occupational segregation are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Do They Stay or Do They Go? The Switching Decisions of Individuals Who Enter Gender Atypical College Majors

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-016-0583-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Drawing on prior theoretical and empirical research on gender segregation within educational fields as well as occupations, we examine the pathways of college students who at least initially embark on a gender-atypical path. Specifically, we explore whether women who enter fields that are male-dominated are more likely to switch fields than their female peers who have chosen other fields, as well as whether men who enter female-dominated majors are more likely to subsequently switch fields than their male peers who have chosen a more normative field. We utilize a sample of 3702 students from a nationally representative dataset on U.S. undergraduates, the Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS 2004/09). Logistic regression models examine the likelihood that students switch majors, controlling for students’ social and academic background. Results reveal different patterns for men and women. Men who enter a female-dominated major are significantly more likely to switch majors than their male peers in other majors. By contrast, women in male-dominated fields are not more likely to switch fields compared to their female peers in other fields. The results are robust to supplementary analyses that include alternative specifications of the independent and dependent variables. The implications of our findings for the maintenance of gendered occupational segregation are discussed.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 30, 2016

References

  • Going against the flow: A longitudinal study of the effects of cognitive skills and gender beliefs on occupational aspirations and outcomes
    Baird, CL
  • Gender role violations and identity misclassification: The roles of audience and actor variables
    Bosson, JK; Taylor, JN; Prewitt-Freilino, JL
  • Understanding the paradox in math-related fields: Why do some gender gaps remain while others do not?
    Cheryan, S
  • Will they stay or will they go? Sex-atypical work among token men who teach
    Cognard-Black, AJ
  • Gender ideology: Components, predictors, and consequences
    Davis, SN; Greenstein, TN
  • New routes to recruiting and retaining women in STEM: Policy implications of a communal goal congruity perspective
    Diekman, AB; Weisgram, ES; Belanger, AL

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