Senior Honors Theses

Publication Date

Spring 5-4-2016

School

School of Behavioral Sciences

Major

Psychology

Keywords

Ambivalent Sexism, Religious Fundamentalism, Students, Stereotypes, Academic Majors

Disciplines

Community Psychology | Gender and Sexuality | Psychology | Social Psychology

Abstract

This study sought to determine if college students view certain majors as masculine or feminine and if gender perceptions influence their choice of major and subsequent vocation. The methodology included analysis of predictive relationship between scores on the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory (ASI), the Ambivalence toward Men Inventory (AMI), the Revised Religious Fundamentalism Scale (RRFS), and a scale measuring perceptions of majors as masculine or feminine. A total of 492 college students from a large east coast Christian university participated in this study by completing an online survey. Based on the university’s degree offerings, 24 college majors were selected, and students were asked to rate them as masculine or feminine. The three that were rated the most masculine by the study participants and the three that were rated the most feminine were analyzed, using linear regression to determine if statistical relationships exist between scores on the ASI and AMI and rating the majors as gendered. Nursing, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Education were found to be the top three feminine majors and Pastoral Leadership, Engineering, and Sport Management were named as the top three masculine majors. There was a significant association between the top three feminine majors and scores on the AMI. There was a significant association between the top three masculine majors and scores on the ASI. Religious fundamentalism was significantly correlated with scores on the ASI. An academic major is an important stepping stone to a career so it is important to how people stereotype majors.

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