The research examined the impact of gender and age on attitudes and reactions to joblessness among 613 unemployed individuals in Israel (aged 21–60 years). With regard to ethnicity, most of the participants were born in Israel and the remainder were evenly distributed between Europe–America and Asia–Africa. The majority of participants had at least secondary education. On the whole, results indicated that both gender and age had significant effects, but did not interact. Furthermore, there was little significant interaction between marital status and gender. Despite recent changes in women's orientations toward work, gender differences are still evident in relation to unemployment: (1) women tend to reject jobs more readily than men on the basis of job content, working conditions, conflicts between job requirements and family obligations, and masculine-typed work, and (2) men tend to devote more time per week to job hunting. As these differences are not age related and are partly independent of marital status, it can be argued that they stem from generalized social expectations regarding gender roles (men as breadwinners and women as responsible for the home) to which unemployed men and women adjust themselves even before they actually fill these roles. In addition, the following age differences were apparent: (1) middle-aged unemployed reported spending more time looking for work than did members of the younger groups, (2) the youngest group saw advantages in unemployment in that it left them time to devote to themselves and also reported the least deterioration in health as a result of unemployment, and (3) young people were more likely to believe that others have no respect for the unemployed, yet preferred to be out of work than to accept a low-paying job.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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