This study examines the role of gender stereotypes in justifying the social system by maintaining the division of labor between the sexes. The distribution of the sexes in 80 occupations was predicted from participants' beliefs that six dimensions of gender-stereotypic attributes contribute to occupational success: masculine physical, feminine physical, masculine personality, feminine personality, masculine cognitive, and feminine cognitive. Findings showed that, to the extent that occupations were female dominated, feminine personality or physical attributes were thought more essential for success; to the extent that occupations were male dominated, masculine personality or physical attributes were thought more essential. Demonstrating the role of gender stereotypes in justifying gender hierarchy, occupations had higher prestige in that participants believed that they required masculine personality or cognitive attributes for success, and they had higher earnings to the extent that they were thought to require masculine personality attributes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology