Gender-stereotypic images of occupations correspond to the sex segregation of employment

Mary Ann Cejka*, Alice H Eagly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

390 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-423
Number of pages11
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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