Gender Stereotypes and Gendered Vocational Aspirations among Secondary School Students

Aeschlimann, Belinda; Hadjar, Andreas (6 March 2014). Gender Stereotypes and Gendered Vocational Aspirations among Secondary School Students (Unpublished). In: 42nd Congress of the Association for Educational Researchers (NFPF/NERA). Lillehammer Norway. 04.03.-07.03.2014.

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Research Topic/Aim: Horizontal gender inequalities appear to be rather stable, with girls more often choosing ‘female' service professions, and boys choosing career paths related to science, technology, engineering or mathematics, since measures to bring more women into typical ‘male' jobs and more men into typical ‘female' jobs did not turn out to be sustainable. This paper focuses on gender stereotypes, namely non-egalitarian patriarchal gender-role orientations and gender associations of the school subjects German and mathematics. Dealing with and abolishing such gender stereotypes may be key strategy to reach sustainability regarding more equal vocational choices. Thus, gender stereotypes will be theorised and empirically analysed as a major predictor of gender-typical vocational perspectives considering interest in these school subjects as a mediating factor. Furthermore, we focus on structural patriarchy as a root of gender-role orientations, and teacher gender regarding its impact on gendered images of subjects.
Theoretical and methodology framework: Our analyses of gender segregation in vocational aspirations and vocational choice center on Gottfredson's (2002; Gottfredson and Becker, 1981) Theory of Circumscription, Compromise and Self-Creation. One of the main assumptions of this theory is that people associate jobs with particular sexes and those jobs that do not fit particular gender roles are not considered. Empirical analyses are based on survey data of eighth-graders in the Swiss canton of Bern (N = 672). Structural Equation Models (SEM) for male and female students are estimated.
Conclusions/Findings: Results reveal different patterns for boys and girls; for boys, gender-typical (male) vocational perspective could be explained via gender role orientations, interest in mathematics and gender associations of the school subjects, for girls, the factors under consideration could be empirically linked to ‘atypical vocational perspective'.
Relevance to Nordic educational research: The study focuses on gender relations in society and how they are reproduced. Gender segregation in vocational choice and at the labour market is a universal issue - affecting both egalitarian and non-egalitarian gender regimes in similar ways. Although in general Northern countries appear to be more equal regarding gender inequality, gender segregation is rather persistent (Jarman, Blackburn and Brooks, 2012) and therefore remains a relevant topic.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Education > Educational Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Education > Sociology of Education

UniBE Contributor:

Aeschlimann, Belinda


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 370 Education
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology




Belinda Aeschlimann

Date Deposited:

24 Sep 2014 08:07

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:32


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