Psychology of Women Quarterly, 32 (2008), 196–203. Blackwell Publishing, Inc. Printed in the USA. C 2008 Division 35, American Psychological Association. 0361-6843/08 Copyright
GENDER STEREOTYPES AND WOMEN’S REPORTS OF LIKING AND ABILITY IN TRADITIONALLY MASCULINE AND FEMININE OCCUPATIONS Debra L. Oswald Marquette University
Gender stereotypes were examined for their causal influence on women’s reported liking for and perceived ability to succeed in traditionally masculine and feminine occupations. One hundred twenty-one women were assigned to either a gender-stereotype activation or filler task and then completed measures of liking for, and perceived ability to succeed in, traditionally masculine and feminine occupations. Strongly gender-identified women showed significantly greater liking for feminine occupations in the stereotype-activation condition than in the control condition. However, more weakly identified women did not show the same effect. In contrast, women weak in gender identification reported an increase in perceived ability for feminine occupations when stereotypes were activated than in the control condition. Activating gender stereotypes did not shift reported liking or perceived ability in traditionally masculine occupations. These results demonstrate the theoretical and practical importance of gender stereotypes on women’s career-related attitudes.
Women currently make up almost half of the workforce, yet many occupations remain gender segregated (U.S. Department of Labor, 2005). In terms of educational achievements, college major choices forecast continued occupational gender segregation. For example, women earned only 29% of the bachelor’s degrees in math and computer science, 21% of the degrees in engineering, and 42% of the bachelor’s degrees in physical science (National Science Foundation, 2007). The goal of this article is to explore one factor that may contribute to college-age women’s decisions to pursue traditionally feminine occupations rather than traditionally masculine occupations. Specifically, this article seeks to further delineate how gender stereotypes have a causal impact on female college students’ perceived ability and reported liking for traditionally masculine and feminine occupations. Social science researchers have sought to understand why women are so underrepresented in math and science fields, and a number of occupational choice models provide insight into this issue (e.g., Eccles, 1987, 1994; Lapan, Shaughnessy, & Boggs, 1996; Lent, Brown, & Hackett,
Debra L. Oswald, Department of Psychology, Marquette University. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Debra L. Oswald, Department of Psychology, Marquette University, P.O. 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201. E-mail: [email protected]
1994). For example, social cognitive career theory (e.g., Lent et al., 1994) was developed as an integrative framework for examining the factors associated with career and academic choices. This model proposes that occupational choices are directly influenced by occupational interests and expectations for positive outcomes and indirectly by self-efficacy (the belief in one’s ability to succeed on the task). The impact of self-efficacy on occupational choices is mediated primarily by interests. This model has been empirically supported with a number of samples, including women and ethnic minorities in math, science, and engineering majors (e.g., Lent et al., 2001; Lent et al., 2003; Lent et al., 2005). Using a similar model, Lapan and colleagues (1996) conducted a longitudinal study following students for 3 years after college entry. They found that math-specific self-efficacy (i.e., expectations to succeed in math fields) and interest in math were predictive of students choosing math and science majors. Furthermore, these two variables accounted for gender differences in decisions about college major. Similarly, Eccles’s (1987, 1994) model of achievementrelated choices proposes that to understand women’s academic and occupational choices one must understand the variables that influence a person’s expectations to succeed and the subjective value of a domain. If women do not expect to succeed and place relatively little value or personal interest on math and science, then they will not choose to take advanced classes or go into these traditionally masculine fields. This model has been used extensively
Gender Stereotyping and Occupations to understand women’s underrepresentation in math- and science-related fields (e.g., Eccles, Barber, & Jozefowicz, 1999; Eccles, Jacobs, & Harold, 1990). According to the model (Eccles, 1987, 1994), expectations for success and task value are influenced by factors such as cultural stereotypes, socializing agents’ beliefs and behaviors, differential aptitudes, and previous achievement-related experiences. Similarly, social cognitive career theory recognizes that the environment contains both distal and proximal factors (such as financial support, social aspects of gender and ethnicity, and network contacts) that may either support or serve as barriers to occupational choices (see Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 2000). The occupational choice models (e.g., Eccles, 1994; Lent et al., 1994) suggest that women make career choices within a general cultural context of pervasive gender stereotyping that may influence their liking for and perceived abilities in occupations for which gender typing exists. The specific focus of the current research project is to investigate the causal impact of cultural gender stereotypes about occupations on college women’s career interests and perceived ability to be successful in traditionally masculine and feminine fields. A common stereotype is that men succeed in math and science domains; women, in English and the arts (e.g., Eccles et al., 1990; Nosek, Banaji, & Greenwald, 2002; Oswald & Harvey, 2003). Masculine gender stereotypes are associated with being successful in masculine occupations (Cejka & Eagly, 1999). In contrast, feminine gender stereotypes are associated with success in feminine occupations. Researchers have begun to examine how stereotypes can influence the targets’ own behaviors (e.g., Levy, 1996; O’Brien & Hummert, 2006; Steele, 1997; Steele & Aronson, 1995). Self-stereotyping theory proposes that cues that activate self-relevant group stereotypes lead to assimilation to the stereotypes. When self-stereotyping, a person sees himor herself as possessing the characteristics and behaviors that are associated with the in-group (e.g., Biernat, Vescio, & Green, 1996; Chiu et al., 1998; Levy, 1996, 2003; Pickett, Bonner, & Coleman, 2002). For example, older adults, but not younger adults, who were primed with negative aging stereotypes performed more poorly on memory tasks (Levy, 1996, 2003) and had poorer handwriting (Levy, 2000) than did older adults who were primed with positive aging stereotypes. Steele and Ambady (2006) found that making gender salient, by priming either gender identity or the category “female,” resulted in women reporting both an implicit and explicit preference for the arts over math. Even situational factors that subtly highlight gender, such as being a numeric minority, have resulted in women’s decreased performance on a math task (Inzlicht & Ben-Zeev, 2000). Although negative stereotypes can result in detriments to performance in relevant areas, positive stereotypes can result in a boost to performance on stereotype-relevant tasks (e.g., Levy, 1996; Shih, Ambady, Richeson, Fujita, & Gray, 2002). For example, Asian American women’s math performance decreased when their gender identity was salient but
197 improved when their Asian identity was salient (Shih, Pittinsky, & Ambady, 1999). In contrast, Asian American women performed better on a verbal test when their gender identity, not Asian identity, was made salient (Shih, Pittinsky, & Trahan, 2006). Similarly, female participants primed with the achievement-oriented identity of being a private college student performed better on a mental rotation task as compared to the performance of participants who were primed to think about their gender or a task-irrelevant identity (McGlone & Aronson, 2006). Thus, situations that heighten self-relevant stereotypes, both positive and negative, can result in a target assimilating to the stereotyped role. The importance of salient group stereotypes also has been highlighted in research on stereotype threat. Stereotype threat theory (Steele, 1997) proposes that stigmatized individuals experience a psychological burden to not confirm a group stereotype whenever they engage in a stereotype-relevant task. This psychological burden results, through a variety of possible mediators, in decreased performance on the stereotyped task. Importantly, one does not need to personally endorse the stereotype, but simply needs to be aware of the stereotype. To date, a body of empirical research has demonstrated that, when stereotype threat is experimentally induced, women underperform relative to their male counterparts on a math test; however, removing the stereotype relevance eliminates the performance gap after controlling for prior ability scores (e.g., Cadinu, Maass, Rosabianca, & Kiesner, 2005; Keller, 2002; O’Brien & Crandall, 2003; Oswald & Harvey, 2000; Spencer, Steele, & Quinn, 1999). Indeed, the impact of stereotype threat on task performance is robust and has been found across a number of stereotyped groups, such as ethnic minorities on academic tests (Gonzalez, Blanton, & Williams, 2002; Steele & Aronson, 1995), women’s accuracy for political knowledge (McGlone, Aronson, & Kobrynowicz, 2006), and men when engaging in nurturing behaviors (Leyens, Desert, Croizet, & Darcis, 2000). Thus, research on stereotype threat further demonstrates how experimentally activating group stereotypes can result in decreased performance on stereotyped tasks. However, not all women respond identically to gender stereotypes. Both stereotype threat and self-stereotyping theories argue that the individuals who identify most strongly with the group should be most impacted by group stereotypes (e.g., Levy, 1996; O’Brien & Hummert, 2006; Schmader, 2002; Steele, 1997). Strongly identified individuals view group membership as an important part of their self-definition. Thus, for individuals who are strongly identified with the group, activation of the group’s stereotype should be more likely to “evoke a personally relevant image” (Levy, 1996, p. 1104) and therefore have a greater impact on their behaviors. For example, Schmader (2002) found that women who were strongly identified with their gender, compared to those with weaker gender identification, were more vulnerable to the effects of stereotype threat. Similar results have been found for racial minorities
(Davis, Aronson, & Salinas, 2006) and older adults performing memory tasks (e.g., O’Brien & Hummert, 2006). In sum, research suggests that gender stereotypes have a pernicious, negative influence on women’s math-related behaviors. In contrast, gender stereotypes appear to result in a boost to women’s verbal-related behaviors. These stereotypes appear to have the largest effect on women who are strongly gender identified. However, to date, the research has focused primarily on test performance, in areas such as verbal, math, and spatial abilities. Do these stereotype effects extend beyond performance behaviors to more global choices, such as career aspirations? This study examined whether gender stereotype activation influences liking for and perceived ability to be successful in masculine- and feminine-typed occupations. Female participants were assigned to complete either a task that activated feminine gender stereotypes or a nonstereotyperelevant control task. Participants then completed measures of liking for and perceived ability to succeed in traditionally masculine and feminine occupations. It was hypothesized that gender stereotype activation would result in an increase in liking for and perceived ability to succeed in femininetyped fields. Furthermore, it was hypothesized that gender identification would moderate the effect of stereotype activation. Specifically, women who reported that gender was an important part of their self-image were expected to experience the effects of stereotype activation to a greater extent than women who reported weaker gender identification. In contrast, because stereotypes about women lack relevance to masculine-typed occupations, it was hypothesized that activating feminine stereotypes would not influence liking for and perceived ability to succeed in masculine-typed fields.
METHOD Participants One hundred twenty-one female college students from a large public Midwestern university participated in this study for partial course credit. The majority of the participants reported their ethnicity as White/Caucasian (n = 93, 77%), 9% (n = 11) as African American, 7% (n = 9) as Asian American, 4% (n = 5) as Hispanic/Latina, and three people did not report their ethnicity. Their median age was 18 years (ranging from 18 to 22 years). Seventy-five percent (n = 91) of the participants were first-year college students, 14% (n = 17) were sophomores, 9% (n = 11) were juniors, and one student was a senior. Participants reported 48 different majors (or intended majors). Almost 50% (n = 61) of participants reported a major in a predominately feminine field, and 25% (n = 30) reported a major in a predominately masculine field (categorization was based on the National Science Foundation’s 2007 report of bachelor’s degrees awarded by gender). Approximately 11% (n = 13) reported majors in fields that could not be classi-
fied as masculine or feminine typed, and 14% (n = 17) did not report a major. Sixteen percent (n = 19) of the students reported being a psychology major. Design The design of this study included a randomly assigned experimental group, for whom gender stereotypes were activated with pretask instructions designed to make gender salient, and an untreated control group. Prior to this manipulation, participants completed a gender identification scale, and following it, women rated their liking for and perceived ability in 20 occupations. Measures Gender identification. The first survey completed was a group identification scale (Pickett, Bonner, & Coleman, 2002, Study 3), modified to assess gender identification. The scale consisted of 16 items and measured both the affective and cognitive aspects of group identification (e.g., “I like being a woman,” “When I talk about women, I usually say ‘we’ rather than ‘they,’” “I have a number of qualities typical of women”). The items were measured on a 7-point Likert scale, from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). The scale has been used in previous self-stereotyping research to measure identification with a variety of groups and has demonstrated acceptable reliability (Pickett & Brewer, 2001; Pickett et al., 2002). The coefficient alpha for the current study sample was .71. Reported liking for and ability in stereotypically masculine and feminine occupations. Participants were given a list of 20 occupations, half of which previously had been identified as stereotypically masculine (e.g., architect, building contractor, pilot) and half as stereotypically feminine (e.g., nurse, teacher, social worker; Aros, Henly, & Curtis, 1998). For each occupation (presented in alphabetical order), participants indicated the extent to which they would (a) like the job and (b) feel confident in their abilities to be successful in the job. Responses were measured on a 5-point Likert scale, from 1 (not like at all/not at all confident in abilities) to 5 (like a lot/very confident in abilities). Means were computed for each of the subscales. The coefficient alpha for masculine liking was .74, for masculine ability it was .86, for feminine liking it was .61, and for feminine ability it was .79. Demographics. Participants completed a demographic sheet that included age, ethnicity, year in college, and major. Procedures Participants were recruited from a psychology subject pool. The study sessions were conducted in a classroom, and small groups of students participated during each session.
Gender Stereotyping and Occupations All materials were provided as paper-and-pencil surveys. At the beginning of the study, session participants were informed they would be completing a series of short and unrelated survey studies. Participants first completed a packet that included the gender identification measure. The experimenter then distributed a second packet that included the experimental manipulation. Each participant’s task condition was masked from the experimenter. Participants in the stereotype-activation condition read: For every social group there are a variety of positive and negative traits, characteristics, and behaviors that people assume to describe the group. Below, list the things that people, in general, assume to be true of people the same gender as you. These can be positive or negative assumptions. You do not need to personally believe what you are listing is true, just that people in general might make the assumption. Participants listed a mean of 10.4 items (SD = 5.0; Median = 10.0), which included positive (M = 3.1), negative (M = 5.3), and neutral traits (M = 2.0). The majority of traits were coded as feminine-related personality (M = 4.4), physical (M = 1.33), or cognitive (M = .33) characteristics (coding scheme based on Oswald & Lindstedt, 2006). In the control nonstereotyped condition, participants were asked to list as many uses for a knife as possible. In both conditions, the participants were informed that they had 5 minutes to work on the task, and the experimenter kept time. The third survey packet included the occupational interest and ability measure and the demographic survey. To maintain the cover story of unrelated studies, the three phases were distributed as separate packets and filler measures were included. Upon completion of the study, participants were debriefed about the nature of the study. RESULTS The goal of this study was to examine how genderstereotype activation influences women’s ratings of the degree to which they would like and feel confident in their abilities to be successful in masculine- and feminine-typed occupations. Also tested was the extent to which gender identification moderates the impact of gender-stereotype activation. Moderated multiple regressions were computed for each of the dependent variables of interest. Gender identification was centered, and an interaction term between experimental condition and gender identification was created (Aiken & West, 1991). Ratings of ability in and liking for the feminine-typed jobs were correlated, r(119) = .43, p < .01, as were ratings of ability and liking for the masculine-typed jobs, r(119) = .71, p < .01. Given my interest in examining perceptions of ability and liking independently of each other, the rating of liking was controlled when predicting ability by being entered into the first step of the regression model. Gender identification, condition (dummy coded as 1 = stereotype activation and 0 = con-
199 trol condition), and their interaction were entered in the second step of the regression model. Likewise, perceived ability for the occupations was controlled when predicting liking of the occupations. The multiple regression model for the degree to which women reported that they liked the feminine-typed jobs was significant, F(4, 116) = 10.15, p < .01, Adjusted R2 = .23, above and beyond the significant rating of ability for feminine-typed jobs, B = .37, p < .01. Gender identification, B = −.11, p = .52, and condition, B = .02, p = .87, were not significant predictors. However, the anticipated interaction between gender identification and condition was significant, B = .41, p = .03. Figure 1 shows the interaction using gender identification at one standard deviation above and below the mean (Aiken & West, 1991; Preacher, Curran, & Bauer, 2003). Examination of the graph and simple slope analysis indicated that in the control condition women reported the same level of liking for the femininetyped occupations regardless of their gender identification, simple slope t(116) = −.64, p = .52. However, in the stereotype-activation condition the reported liking for the feminine-typed occupations increased with gender identification, simple slope t(116) = 3.02, p < .01. This latter finding indicated that, in the stereotype-activation condition, women who were strongly identified, relative to those who were weakly identified, reported higher levels of liking for feminine-typed occupations. The multiple regression model for reported ability to succeed in feminine-typed jobs also was significant, F(4, 116) = 8.71, p < .01, Adjusted R2 = .20, above and beyond the significant rating of liking for feminine-typed jobs, B = .50, p < .01. Gender identification was also a significant predictor of perceived ability, B = .46, p = .02, such that gender identification was positively associated with perceived ability in feminine-typed occupations. The experimental condition was not a significant predictor, B = .05, p = .66; however, the anticipated interaction between gender identification and condition was significant, B = −.51, p = .02. Examination of the graph (see Figure 2) and simple slope analysis indicated that women in the stereotype-activation condition reported high levels of perceived ability to succeed in feminine-typed fields regardless of their gender identification, simple slope t(116) = −.53, p = .60; however, the simple slope was significant for the control condition, simple slope t(116) = 2.44, p < .02. Women who were more weakly gender-identified reported lower levels of perceived ability for feminine-typed occupations than did women who were more strongly gender identified. Notably, women who were weakly gender identified had the lowest predicted perceived ability for feminine-typed occupations in the control condition but were equivalent to the strongly identified women in the stereotype-activation condition. In contrast, stereotype activation, gender identification, and their interaction were not significant predictors of either liking for or perceived ability in the masculine-typed occupations. For ratings of liking for the masculine-typed jobs, the model was statistically significant,
Fig. 1. Predicted ratings of liking for traditionally feminine occupations.
Fig. 2. Predicted ratings of perceived ability to be successful in traditionally feminine occupations.
F(4, 116) = 30.32, p < .01, Adjusted R2 = .49; however, the only significant variable was perceived ability for masculine-typed jobs, B = .61, p < .01. For ratings of ability in masculine-typed jobs, the model was significant, F(4, 116) = 30.20, p < .01, Adjusted R2 = .49, but the only significant variable was reported liking for masculine-typed jobs, B = .84, p < .001. DISCUSSION The current study found that women in the gender stereotype–salient condition reported higher levels of interest in, and perceived ability to succeed in, feminine-typed fields than did women in the control condition. However, the impact of the stereotype activation was moderated by
women’s identification with their gender group. In contrast, gender-stereotype salience did not influence women’s reports of interest and perceived ability in masculine-typed fields. Specifically, when gender stereotypes were activated, the more strongly gender-identified participants reported more liking for feminine-typed occupations than did the more weakly identified women. This finding is consistent with previous research findings that women who are strongly gender identified are more susceptible to stereotype threat effects (Schmader, 2002). Thus, only the more strongly gender-identified women showed the expected assimilation effects when feminine stereotypes were activated. In contrast to strongly identified women, the women who were weaker in gender identification did not hold their gender
Gender Stereotyping and Occupations as central to their identity and therefore should have been less susceptible to gender stereotypes (Levy, 1996; O’Brien & Hummert, 2006; Steele, 1997). It may be that the more weakly gender-identified women experienced reactance to the explicit gender stereotypes and, therefore, reported less liking for feminine-typed occupations than did the strongly identified women. A different pattern was found for perceptions of ability to be successful in feminine-typed occupations. In the control condition, more weakly gender-identified women, relative to those with stronger identification, reported lower levels of ability for feminine-typed jobs. However, women in the stereotype-activation condition reported consistently high levels of confidence in their ability to succeed in femininetyped occupations, regardless of their gender identification. Stereotype activation appears to have resulted in the weakly identified women reporting that they could succeed in feminine-typed occupations. In fact, when gender stereotypes were activated, the weakly and strongly genderidentified women displayed equivalent levels of confidence in their abilities to succeed in feminine-typed occupations. It may be that women who were strongly gender identified were chronically aware of their areas of stereotypic feminine skills and responded accordingly. In contrast, more weakly identified women may not immediately think about their skills in terms of gender stereotypes. When feminine stereotypes were activated they experienced a stereotype boost in confidence in their ability to succeed in stereotypically feminine occupations. In contrast, the stereotype activation did not shift women’s ratings of their liking for, or perceived ability to be successful in, stereotypically masculine fields. This finding is consistent with self-stereotyping theory because stereotypes about women are relevant for feminine-typed occupations but lack relevance for masculine-typed occupations. Cejka and Eagly (1999) found that masculine traits are judged as necessary for success in stereotypically masculine occupations, and feminine traits are judged as necessary for success in stereotypically feminine occupations. Thus, feminine stereotypes may not be diagnostic when making ratings of liking for and perceived ability in masculine-typed occupations. For example, activating stereotypes of feminine traits, such as “nurturing” and “warm,” may result in women reporting more interest and perceived ability in feminine-typed occupations. However, these traits are not relevant for masculine-typed jobs and thus have no effect on reported liking or perceived ability in those fields. In sum, activating feminine stereotypes contributes to women’s endorsing interest and perceived ability to be successful in feminine-typed occupations. Because both interest and perceived ability are important factors that predict academic and career choices (e.g., Eccles, 1994; Lapan et al., 1996; Lent et al., 1994), these results suggest that the activation of feminine stereotypes may, in part, explain why women are drawn toward traditionally feminine occupations. Although this was an experimental situation, real-
201 world examples of gender- stereotype activation are easy to identify. Being the solo woman in a group heightens gender stereotypes and can result in stereotyped task performance (e.g., Sekaquaptewa & Thompson, 2002). Sexist jokes and blonde jokes also highlight negative gender stereotypes and create hostile environments for female employees (e.g., LaFrance, & Woodzicka, 1998; Watts, 2007). By their nature, gender-segregated occupations make gender stereotypes highly salient. The current findings demonstrate how gender stereotypes influence women’s attitudes that are important when choosing careers. Women may be pulled by others into gender-appropriate fields while simultaneously feeling an internal push from personal awareness of gender stereotypes (see also Schmader, Johns, & Barquissau, 2004). Even when women choose a nontraditional major or career, stereotypes might play a role in the choice to leave the field. For example, female students in traditionally masculine majors, compared to those in traditionally feminine majors, reported experiencing more stereotype threat and discrimination and had a higher intention to leave the major (Steele, James, & Barnett, 2002). The current study found that women may be drawn to feminine occupations when feminine stereotypes are activated. That is, feminine fields might become especially attractive to women who experience stereotype threat or discrimination in a male dominated field. Thus, rather than continually dealing with the anxiety of potentially confirming negative stereotypes, women may choose to pursue a stereotypically consistent field. A goal, then, should be to reduce the harmful impact of gender stereotypes so as to increase women’s participation in nontraditional fields. Indeed, research has shown several ways in which gender stereotypes can be negated, resulting in an increase in women’s math performance. For example, in experimental research, it has been found that women performed better in math and were more confident about their math skills when there was a female role model who was competent in math (Marx & Roman, 2002) and when women’s achievements in masculine-typed fields were highlighted (McIntyre, Paulson, & Lord, 2003). Oswald and Harvey (2003) found that college-age women who reported that they were encouraged by their parents and teachers to do well in math, had female role models, and generally reported that they had been shielded from negative gender stereotypes reported being identified with math and having a positive attitude toward math. Thus, it is important to remember that educators and parents can take proactive steps to reduce the salience of gender stereotypes and that these efforts can have positive implications for women’s career aspirations. Although the current study demonstrated the importance of stereotypes in influencing women’s reported liking for and perceived ability in feminine-typed occupations, there are questions that remain for future research. It would be useful to also examine the effect of
masculine-stereotype activation on male participants’ occupational attitudes. Occupational segregation results also because men enter masculine-typed fields more often than they enter feminine-typed fields. One might expect that masculine stereotypes may have a similar influence on men’s occupational choices. Furthermore, would cross-stereotype activation (priming women with masculine stereotyped traits) provide one possible intervention? It would also be interesting to examine the impact of stereotype activation on women in traditional and nontraditional majors. Stereotype-threat theory (Steele, 1997) suggests that the women who feel that a domain is important in their lives should experience the largest detriment in performance when stereotypes are relevant to that domain. Thus, it might be the case that women in masculine-typed majors would experience the greatest change in attitudes upon stereotype activation. Unfortunately, relatively few women in the current study reported masculine-typed majors so that these analyses were not possible to compute. Finally, it should be noted that in the current study gender identification was measured prior to the study manipulation and ratings of occupational liking and perceived ability. To a certain extent, all participants may have been somewhat primed to think about their gender, and thus the study manipulation may be comparing women in a stereotype-salient condition to women for whom the stereotype was less salient but not nonexistent. Ideally, future research should obtain a pretest measure of gender identification. In sum, occupational choices are made within a general cultural context of gender stereotypes. This study sought to examine the impact of these contextual stereotypes by experimentally making these stereotypes salient. This research is novel in that it reflects an extension of research on stereotype activation from performance behaviors to more global occupation-related attitudes. The variables of reported liking for (e.g., interest) and perceived ability to be successful in occupations (e.g., self-efficacy) were chosen because they have been highlighted in previous models as central factors when choosing academic major and careers (e.g., Eccles, 1987, 1994; Lapan et al., 1996; Lent et al., 1994). That stereotype activation causally influences liking for and perceived ability to succeed in feminine occupations suggests that gender stereotypes may be one reason why we continue to see women pursing occupations that are gender traditional rather than nontraditional. Initial submission: June 12, 2007 Initial acceptance: November 15, 2007 Final acceptance: December 18, 2007
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