Sex Roles

, Volume 34, Issue 3–4, pp 171–188 | Cite as

Undergraduates regard deviation from occupational gender stereotypes as costly for women

  • Janice D. Yoder
  • Thomas L. Schleicher


Studies from the 1970s have shown deviation from norms defining the gender-appropriateness of occupations to be costly for both women and men. Two hundred thirty undergraduates wrote open-ended stories and rated a stimulus person, Anne or John, who was described at the top of his/her class in medicine or one of four persistently gender-skewed fields: nursing, day care, electrical engineering, and electrician. Across all five occupations, negative imagery in stories about Anne and John in gender-incongruent occupations disappeared. However, when Anne succeeded in the two currently female-incongruent fields, raters treated her as a personal and social deviate by distancing themselves and by denigrating her role behaviors and personal traits, including her femininity. Parallel costs were not found for John nor were Anne's work-related qualities undermined. Undergraduates expect deviation from occupational gender-types in the 1990s to be personally costly for women, but not for men.


Social Psychology Personal Trait Electrical Engineering Gender Stereotype Role Behavior 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janice D. Yoder
    • 1
  • Thomas L. Schleicher
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Wisconsin — MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA

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