Who we are Search Resources Submit a resource Links to sites Discussion Board Contact Us Return to Home
Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Stereotypes, perceived discrimination, and self-protective strategies associated with the adoption of cross-gender academic majors.

Author: Buckner, Camille Elise
Author Background:
Date 7/1/98
Type Dissertation
Journal Title: Dissertation-Abstracts-International:-Section-B:-The-Sciences-and-Engineering
Volume/Pages Vol 59(1-B): 0457
Subject Matter Gender Issues
Abstract Although gender-role prescriptions in our society have become more egalitarian over time, research indicates that men and women who elect to participate in domains typically associated with the other sex continue to be stigmatized. Furthermore, evidence that feminine roles and occupations tend to be devalued relative to masculine roles and occupations suggests that men and women in these gender-inconsistent domains do not necessarily have parallel experiences. In the current investigation, three studies were conducted that investigated both the negative stereotypes about and the reported experiences of students in gender-inconsistent academic majors. The first two studies examined the content of the stereotypes about male and female students in a number of gender-typed majors (elementary education, nursing, social work, interior design, computer science, engineering, mathematics, and political science). The results of these two studies revealed that students in gender-inconsistent disciplines, particularly men, were perceived more negatively than students in gender-consistent disciplines. The third study examined the extent to which students in gender-inconsistent majors perceived discrimination against their group, the strategies they engaged in to diffuse it, and the negative psychological outcomes they experienced in conjunction with this perceived discrimination. The results indicated that women in traditionally masculine majors reported experiencing more negative treatment within their major and reported suffering more negative, major-related psychological outcomes than men in traditionally feminine majors and than both sexes in gender-consistent majors. In contrast, men in traditionally feminine majors tended to report receiving more negative treatment from others outside, rather than inside, their major. This research is important in that it examined specific stereotypes and the targets of these stereotypes simultaneously within one particular context (a univ ((c) 1999 APA/PsycINFO, all rights reserved)