Sex Roles

, Volume 7, Issue 11, pp 1109–1126 | Cite as

Family background, sex-role attitudes, and life goals of technical college and university students

  • Diana M. Zuckerman


Questionnaires that assessed family background, educational goals, career goals, preferred and expected career commitment, and sex-role attitudes were completed by 763 male and female undergraduates. The women expressed significantly more nontraditional goals and attitudes than women in previous studies, but the female respondents' goals and attitudes differ significantly from their male classmates. The correlations between several sex-role-related goals and attitudes are significant for both men and women. Parents' educational attainment, mothers' careers, and religious upbringing are the background variables that most strongly predict traditional/nontraditional goals and sex-role attitudes. The predictive powers of the background traits differ for men and women, and these results are often inconsistent with results of previous studies. Implications for related research are discussed.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Almquist, E. M. Sex stereotypes in occupational choice: The case for college women. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 1974, 5, 13–21.Google Scholar
  2. Astin, H. S. Career development of girls during the high school years. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 1968, 15, 536–540.Google Scholar
  3. Baird, L. L., Clark, M. & Hartnett, R. T. The graduates: A report on the plans and characteristics of college seniors. Princeton Educational Testing Service, 1973. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 093 185).Google Scholar
  4. Broverman, I. K., Vogel, S. R., Brovermen, D. M., Clarkson, F. E., & Rosenkrantz, P. S. Sex-role stereotypes: A current appraisal. Journal of Social Issues, 1972, 28, 59–78.Google Scholar
  5. Doyle, J. A. Attitudes toward feminism — Forty years later. Sex Roles, 1976, 2, 399–400.Google Scholar
  6. Erickson, L. G. & Nordin, M. L. Sex role ideologies and career salience of college women. Manhattan, Kansas: Kansas State University, 1974. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 095 449).Google Scholar
  7. Garfinkle, S. H. Occupations of women and black workers, 1962–74. Monthly Labor Review, 1975, 98, 24–34.Google Scholar
  8. Hoffman, L. W., & Nye, F. I. Working mothers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1974.Google Scholar
  9. Karman, F. J. Women: Personal and environmental factors in role identification and career choices. Los Angeles: University of California, Center for the Study of Evaluation, 1973. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 084 383).Google Scholar
  10. Spence, J. T., Helmreich, R., & Stapp, J. A short version of the Attitudes Toward Women Scale (AWS). Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, 1973, 2, 219–220.Google Scholar
  11. Spence, J. T., Helmreich, R., & Stapp, J. Ratings of self and peers on sex role attributes and their relation to self-esteem and conceptions of masculinity and femininity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1975, 32, 29–39.Google Scholar
  12. Zuckerman, D. M. Challenging the traditional female role: An exploration of women's attitudes and career aspirations. Columbus: Ohio State University, 1977. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 134 787)Google Scholar
  13. Zuckerman, D. M. Sex-role related goals and attitudes of minority students: A study of black college women and reentry students. Journal of College Student Personnel, 1981, 22, 23–30.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diana M. Zuckerman
    • 1
  1. 1.Radcliffe CollegeHarvard UniversityCambridge

Personalised recommendations