Sex-Typed Personality Traits and Gender Identity as Predictors of Young Adults’ Career Interests
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Gender segregation of careers is still prominent in the U.S. workforce. The current study was designed to investigate the role of sex-typed personality traits and gender identity in predicting emerging adults’ interests in sex-typed careers. Participants included 586 university students (185 males, 401 females). Participants reported their sex-typed personality traits (masculine and feminine traits), gender identities (gender typicality, contentment, felt pressure to conform, and intergroup bias), and interests in sex-typed careers. Results indicated both sex-typed personality traits and gender identity were important predictors of young adults’ career interests, but in varying degrees and differentially for men and women. Men’s sex-typed personality traits and gender typicality were predictive of their masculine career interests even more so when the interaction of their masculine traits and gender typicality were considered. When gender typicality and sex-typed personality traits were considered simultaneously, gender typicality was negatively related to men’s feminine career interests and gender typicality was the only significant predictor of men’s feminine career interests. For women, sex-typed personality traits and gender typicality were predictive of their sex-typed career interests. The level of pressure they felt to conform to their gender also positively predicted interest in feminine careers. The interaction of sex-typed personality traits and gender typicality did not predict women’s career interests more than when these variables were considered as main effects. Results of the multidimensional assessment of gender identity confirmed that various dimensions of gender identity played different roles in predicting career interests and gender typicality was the strongest predictor of career interests.
KeywordsGender roles Career interests Sex-typed personality traits Gender identity
This study was funded, in part, by Monmouth University’s Grant in Aid of Creativity and by the Lenfest Grant. The authors would like to thank Ryan Laswell, Sara Rae, Lauren Kaniewski, and Amanda Grunwald of UWSP, and Deanna Stango, Brittney Austin, Erin Barrett, Jenna DeLozier, Lina Jaramillo, and Maria Mereos of MU for their assistance with data collection and entry and bibliographic assistance.
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