The effect of gender-role stereotyping on the career aspirations and expectations of pre-adolescent children of high intellectual ability

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Purvis, Carillon Ruth Cameron
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 1987
Although the movement of women into the Canadian labor force has been increasingly steady over the past three decades, the number of women occupying positions of power, prestige and leadership within their fields remains low in comparison to that of men. In theory, virtually all careers and levels within those careers should be available to both males and females, but this availability is not always perceived to be real. The desire to reveal why this is so provides the impetus for this study. Career patterns are influenced by a variety of forces, one of which is gender-role stereotypes. A greater understanding of the roles these stereotypes play in career aspirations is the goal of this study. One hundred male and female pre-adolescent students of high and average intellectual ability were surveyed by means of a questionnaire to determine the effect of gender-role stereotypes on their career aspirations and expectations. Correlations, analyses of variance, and qualitative data provided the statistical and descriptive information for interpretation. The principal finding of this study was that the influence of gender-role stereotypes on pre-adolescent children was confirmed, even across ability groups. Stereotypical attitudes were unrelated to intellectual ability, as high and average ability groups conformed to traditional attitudes exhibited toward the sexes. However, there did seem to be a trend towards a more androgynous attitude among the females than among the males, particularly high achieving males. High ability males showed a trend towards exaggerated stereotypical attitudes in comparison to the other subject groups. Furthermore, high ability students generally had more to say and exhibited more confidence (particularly the high ability males) in their responses. This study may provide an increase in awareness and understanding of any real or perceived barriers to achievement and thus eventually lead to greater opportunities and personal fulfillment for both males and females.
xi, 117 leaves ; 28 cm
Sex Role in Children , Dissertations, Academic