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Social psychological barriers to a gender balanced labor market: The role of gender identity threats, friendship priorities, and perceived discrimination

Sinclair, Samantha LU (2015)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Den horisontella segregeringen på grund av kön är idag den största på arbetsmarknaden; betydligt större än bland annat segregering på grund av etnicitet. Trots att vi kommit långt med arbetet för jämställdhet, tenderar män och kvinnor fortfarande att välja olika typer av utbildningar och yrken. Dessa tendenser finns redan i gymnasieskolan, där det råder könsdominans inom de flesta program (SOU 2009:63:112). Trots att den vertikala segregeringen i utbildningsnivå försvunnit i Sverige, kvarstår den horisontella segregeringen på en stabil nivå (Jonsson, 1999). Syftet med denna avhandling är att undersöka tre socialpsykologiska förklaringar till den horisontella könssegregeringen på... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Den horisontella segregeringen på grund av kön är idag den största på arbetsmarknaden; betydligt större än bland annat segregering på grund av etnicitet. Trots att vi kommit långt med arbetet för jämställdhet, tenderar män och kvinnor fortfarande att välja olika typer av utbildningar och yrken. Dessa tendenser finns redan i gymnasieskolan, där det råder könsdominans inom de flesta program (SOU 2009:63:112). Trots att den vertikala segregeringen i utbildningsnivå försvunnit i Sverige, kvarstår den horisontella segregeringen på en stabil nivå (Jonsson, 1999). Syftet med denna avhandling är att undersöka tre socialpsykologiska förklaringar till den horisontella könssegregeringen på arbetsmarknaden.

Delstudie I visar att ungdomar som upplever ett ifrågasättande av könsidentiteten, det vill säga ett ifrågasättande av huruvida man är tillräckligt manlig/kvinnlig, kan komma att förstärka könsstereotypa yrkespreferenser som ett sätt att återställa den hotade könsidentiteten. Denna effekt jämfördes experimentellt med effekten av ett hot som inte relaterar till kön. Resultaten indikerade att könsidentitetshot har en unik effekt för förstärkningen av könsstereotypa yrkespreferenser. Vidare visade resultaten på att ungdomar som är särskilt måna om sin könsidentitet också är mer benägna att föredra könsstereotypa yrken.

Delstudie II visar att ytterligare en bidragande faktor till könssegregeringen är att ungdomar kan komma att prioritera att vara med sina vänner över egentliga studieintressen vid val av gymnasieprogram. Eftersom att det finns tydliga tendenser hos båda könen att ha fler vänner av samma kön som man själv tillhör, innebär sådana vänskapsprioriteringar vid utbildningsval att man oftare kommer att justera valet i linje med någon som tillhör samma kön som man själv. Detta ökar därmed sannolikheten för val av utbildning som är i linje med könsstereotyper. Denna hypotes fick preliminärt stöd i två empiriska delstudier.

Slutligen undersöker delstudie III vilka konsekvenser unga mäns och kvinnors uppfattningar om könsdiskriminering på arbetsmarknaden kan få för deras motivation att söka arbete. Resultaten visade att både män och kvinnor i hög grad tror att kvinnliga sökanden blivit diskriminerade i rekryteringsprocessen på grund av kön, och att denna uppfattning inverkar negativt på deras motivation att söka arbete inom mansdominerade yrken. Vi fann även att människor tolkar in könsdiskriminering vid rekrytering i högre utsträckning än vad som är befogat med tanke på den faktiska förekomsten av könsdiskriminering på arbetsmarknaden.

Skollagen (1 kap. 2 §) säger att skolan aktivt och medvetet ska främja kvinnors och mäns lika rätt och möjligheter, och vidare att eleverna ska uppmuntras att utveckla sina intressen utan fördomar om vad som är manligt och kvinnligt (Lpf 94). Avhandlingens fynd bidrar till att underlätta för detta arbete genom att synliggöra tre viktiga faktorer som kan påverka könssegregeringen inom utbildningsväsendet och i arbetslivet. (Less)
Abstract
Gender remains a key predictor of vocational choice. The present thesis aimed to investigate three social psychological barriers to nontraditional career choice.

Study Ӏ showed that threats to gender identity may lead to more gender-typical occupational preferences among adolescents. The results suggested a unique effect of gender identity threat, as a control threat did not have the same effect. Moreover, individual differences in gender identity concerns predicted gender-typed preferences. Study ӀӀ proposed an effect of gender-typical educational choice as a consequence of social needs. Because people tend to have predominantly same-gender friends, those who adjust their choice of education to be with their friends are likely... (More)
Gender remains a key predictor of vocational choice. The present thesis aimed to investigate three social psychological barriers to nontraditional career choice.

Study Ӏ showed that threats to gender identity may lead to more gender-typical occupational preferences among adolescents. The results suggested a unique effect of gender identity threat, as a control threat did not have the same effect. Moreover, individual differences in gender identity concerns predicted gender-typed preferences. Study ӀӀ proposed an effect of gender-typical educational choice as a consequence of social needs. Because people tend to have predominantly same-gender friends, those who adjust their choice of education to be with their friends are likely to acquire a more gender-typical education and, consequently, occupation. The findings suggest that adolescents are more likely to adjust their educational choice in line with same-gender friends. Furthermore, perceived education compromise in line with friends was related to having selected a more gender typical field of study. Study ӀӀӀ revealed that people’s perceptions of gender discrimination in hiring are guided by discrimination prototypes of the typical discrimination victim, rather than same-gender bias. Both men and women tend to interpret an ambiguous outcome on the labor market as discrimination if the applicant is female. Furthermore, observing a woman being declined job interviews in male-typed occupations led to work-seeking discouragement, and this effect was mediated by attributions to discrimination. Discrimination attributions in prototypical cases were found to be exaggerated compared to the prevalence of actual gender discrimination in hiring.

To conclude, the present thesis suggests that gender identity threat, friendship priorities, and perceived discrimination may prevent individuals from exploring their full range of career opportunities. First, gender identity threat may affect adolescents so that they do not even form aspirations for gender atypical occupations. Second, even if there is some interest in nontraditional occupations, the need to preserve close relationships will push people away from domains where they have no friends (usually domains where their gender is in minority). Finally, when young men and women are about to enter the labor market, exaggerated perceptions of the prevalence of discrimination can become an obstacle to their motivation to pursue certain careers. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor Steffens, Melanie, Universität Koblenz-Landau
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
occupational preferences, gender typed choice, career compromise, gender identity threat, friendship, perceived discrimination, social psychology, vocational psychology
pages
152 pages
defense location
Palaestra nedre, Tegnérsplatsen 2, Lund
defense date
2015-06-12 10:00
ISBN
978-91-7623-336-8 (electronic)
978-91-7623-335-1 (print)
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e9138075-be65-4161-a5ca-e375e3227fee (old id 5384773)
date added to LUP
2015-05-13 11:29:50
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:16
@misc{e9138075-be65-4161-a5ca-e375e3227fee,
  abstract     = {Gender remains a key predictor of vocational choice. The present thesis aimed to investigate three social psychological barriers to nontraditional career choice. <br/><br>
Study Ӏ showed that threats to gender identity may lead to more gender-typical occupational preferences among adolescents. The results suggested a unique effect of gender identity threat, as a control threat did not have the same effect. Moreover, individual differences in gender identity concerns predicted gender-typed preferences. Study ӀӀ proposed an effect of gender-typical educational choice as a consequence of social needs. Because people tend to have predominantly same-gender friends, those who adjust their choice of education to be with their friends are likely to acquire a more gender-typical education and, consequently, occupation. The findings suggest that adolescents are more likely to adjust their educational choice in line with same-gender friends. Furthermore, perceived education compromise in line with friends was related to having selected a more gender typical field of study. Study ӀӀӀ revealed that people’s perceptions of gender discrimination in hiring are guided by discrimination prototypes of the typical discrimination victim, rather than same-gender bias. Both men and women tend to interpret an ambiguous outcome on the labor market as discrimination if the applicant is female. Furthermore, observing a woman being declined job interviews in male-typed occupations led to work-seeking discouragement, and this effect was mediated by attributions to discrimination. Discrimination attributions in prototypical cases were found to be exaggerated compared to the prevalence of actual gender discrimination in hiring. <br/><br>
To conclude, the present thesis suggests that gender identity threat, friendship priorities, and perceived discrimination may prevent individuals from exploring their full range of career opportunities. First, gender identity threat may affect adolescents so that they do not even form aspirations for gender atypical occupations. Second, even if there is some interest in nontraditional occupations, the need to preserve close relationships will push people away from domains where they have no friends (usually domains where their gender is in minority). Finally, when young men and women are about to enter the labor market, exaggerated perceptions of the prevalence of discrimination can become an obstacle to their motivation to pursue certain careers.},
  author       = {Sinclair, Samantha},
  isbn         = {978-91-7623-336-8 (electronic)},
  keyword      = {occupational preferences,gender typed choice,career compromise,gender identity threat,friendship,perceived discrimination,social psychology,vocational psychology},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {152},
  title        = {Social psychological barriers to a gender balanced labor market: The role of gender identity threats, friendship priorities, and perceived discrimination},
  year         = {2015},
}