Sex-Typed Personality Traits and Gender Identity as Predictors of Young Adults’ Career Interests
- 2.1k Downloads
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.
- American Association of University Women Educational Foundation. (2003). Women at work. Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
- Betz, N. E. (1995). Gender-related individual differences variables: New concepts, methods, and findings. In D. J. Lubinski & R. V. Dawis (Eds.), Assessing individual differences in human behavior: New concepts, methods, and findings (pp. 119–143). Palo Alto, CA: Davies-Black.Google Scholar
- Betz, N. E., & Fitzgerald, L. F. (1987). The career psychology of women. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Bletz, A. M., Swanson, J. L., & Berenbaum, S. A. (2011). Gendered occupational interests: Prenatal androgen effects on psychological orientation to Things versus People. Hormones and Behavior, 60, 313–317.Google Scholar
- Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2011a). Employed persons by detailed occupation, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat11.pdf.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2011b). Women in the labor force: A databook (2010 edition). Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/cps/wlf-intro-2010.htm.
- Diekman, A. B., & Eagly, A. H. (2008). On men, women, and motivation: A role congruity account. In J. Y. Shah & W. L. Gardner (Eds.), Handbook of motivation science (pp. 434–447). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Holland, J. L. (1997). Making vocational choices: A theory of vocational possibilities and work environments. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.Google Scholar
- Huston, A. C. (1983). Sex typing. In E. M. Hetherington (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Socialization, personality, and social development (4th ed., Vol. 4, pp. 387–467). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Liben, L. S., & Bigler, R. S. (2002). The developmental course of gender differentiation: Conceptualizing, measuring, and evaluation constructs and pathways. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 67, vii–147.Google Scholar
- Lippa, R. A. (2005). Gender, nature, and nurture. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Martin, C. L., & Dinella, L. M. (2002). Children’s gender cognitions, the social environment, and sex differences in cognitive domains. In A. McGillicuddy-De Lisi & R. De Lisi (Eds.), Advances in applied developmental psychology (Vol. 21, pp. 207–239). Westport, CT: Ablex Publishing.Google Scholar
- National Academy of Sciences. (2006). Beyond bias and barriers: Fulfilling the potential of women in academic science and engineering. Retrieved from http://www.nap.edu/catalog/11741.html.
- Ruble, D. N., & Martin, C. L. (1998). Gender development. In W. Damon & N. Eisenburg (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 3, Social, emotional, and personality development (5th ed., pp. 933–1016). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Ruble, D. N., Martin, C. L., & Berenbaum, S. A. (2006). Gender development. In N. Eisenberg (Ed.), Handbook of child development (pp. 858–932). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Super, D. E. (1990). A life-span, life-space, approach to career development. In D. Brown & L. Brooks (Eds.), Career choice and development (pp. 167–261). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Tokar, D. M., & Jome, L. M. (1998). Masculinity, career choices, and vocational traditionality: Evidence for a fully mediated model. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 45, 424–435Google Scholar
- Weisgram, E. S., & Bigler, R. S. (2006). Girls and science careers: The role of altruistic values and attitudes about scientific tasks. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 27, 326–348.Google Scholar