Nurse or Mechanic? The Role of Parental Socialization and Children's Personality in the Formation of Sex-Typed Occupational Aspirations
AbstractThis study investigates the role of parental socialization and childrenâ€™s agency in the formation of sex-typed occupational preferences using data for British children aged between 11 and 15. We anchor agency in observable psychological attributes associated with children's capacity to act in the face of constraints. We focus on two such attributes, motivation and self-esteem. Our findings identify two main sources of parental influence: 1) parental socio-economic resources, which affect children's occupational ambition, and 2) parental sex-typical behaviors, from which children learn which occupations are appropriate for each sex. We find, additionally, that girls with high motivation and both girls and boys with high self-esteem are less likely to aspire to sex-typical occupations, net of inherited traits and parental characteristics. Motivation and self-esteem help girls to aim higher in the occupational ladder, which automatically reduces their levels of sex-typicality. In the case of boys, however, self-esteem reduces sex-typicality at all levels of the aspired occupational distribution. This suggests that boys with high self-esteem are better equipped to contradict the existing social norms regarding sex-typical behavior. The implications of our findings are discussed.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London in its series DoQSS Working Papers with number 12-10.
Date of creation: 04 Dec 2012
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More information through EDIRC
Gender Segregation; Occupational Aspirations; Children; Socialization; Personality Traits;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-12-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2012-12-22 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-DEM-2012-12-22 (Demographic Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2012-12-22 (Evolutionary Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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"The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
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- Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
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