Three experiments examined how US children perceive occupational status and gender roles. In Experiment 1, 107 6-to-12-year-olds rated the status and gender roles of 54 occupations. Feminine occupations were underrepresented among the perceived high status jobs. In Experiment 2, 28 6-to-8-year-olds, and in Experiment 3, 36 9-to-12-year-olds, reported their preferences for equally high status masculine and feminine occupations and low status masculine and feminine occupations. In both experiments, girls preferred feminine to masculine occupations and status only affected preferences for masculine occupations. The younger boys’ preferences were based on both variables, whereas older boys’ preferences were based on status. These findings imply that occupational status may influence boys’ vocational preferences more than pressure to conform to masculine gender roles.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 9, 2008
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