Date Approved

2011

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication, Media and Theatre Arts

Committee Member

Jeannette Kindred, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

Sally McCracken, PhD

Committee Member

Tsai-Shan Shen, PhD

Abstract

Career gender bias is the tendency for men or women to resist work in careers that tend to be dominated by individuals of a specific gender (nursing, public relations, elementary education, child-care, police, fire, manufacturing). This study posits that current university students exhibit career gender bias and classify certain Bureau of Labor Statistics job classifications as male, female or unisex occupations. Furthermore, with use of the Bem Sex-Role Inventory (Bem, 1974) scale, this study attempted to understand if masculinity, femininity, or androgyny gender identity influences college students’ perceptions of career gender stereotypes and ultimately their view about the growing or declining Bureau of Labor Statistics listed professions. Participants in this study designated growing and declining occupations within male and female subgroups with several careers being viewed as unisex by students scoring high in femininity. Furthermore, data from this study indicate that female participants continue to feel open to male, female, and unisex careers; however, male participants appear to be uncomfortable pursuing unisex or female dominated careers.

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