Girls like Pink: Explaining Sex-Typed Occupational Aspirations amongst Young Children
There is a high degree of sex-typing in young children's occupational aspirations and this has consequences for subsequent occupational segregation. Sociologists typically attribute early sex- differences in occupational preferences to gender socialization. Yet we still know surprisingly little about the mechanisms involved in the intergenerational transmission of sex-typical preferences and there is considerable theoretical controversy regarding the role of individual agency in the process of preference formation. This study analyzes the determinants of sex-typed occupational aspirations amongst British children aged between 11 and 15. We specify different mechanisms involved in the transmission of sex-typical preferences and propose an innovative definition of individual agency that is anchored in observable psychological traits linked to self-direction. This allows us to perform a simultaneous test of socialization and agency predictors of occupational sex-typing. We find that parental influences on occupational preferences operate mainly through three distinctive channels: 1) the effect that parental socio-economic resources have on the scope of children's occupational aspirations, 2) children's direct imitation of parental occupations, and 3) children's learning of sex- typed roles via the observation of parental behavior. We also find a strong net effect of children's own psychological predispositions -self-esteem in particular- on the incidence of sex-typical occupational preferences. Yet large differences in the occupational aspirations of girls and boys remain unexplained.
|Date of creation:||14 Oct 2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: 34 93 592 1203
Fax: +34 93 542-1223
Web page: http://pareto.uab.cat
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Melissa Osborne & Herbert Gintis & Samuel Bowles, 2001. "The Determinants of Earnings: A Behavioral Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1137-1176, December.
- Goldin, Claudia & Polachek, Solomon, 1987. "Residual Differences by Sex: Perspectives on the Gender Gap in Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 143-51, May.
- Polachek, Solomon William, 1981. "Occupational Self-Selection: A Human Capital Approach to Sex Differences in Occupational Structure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 60-69, February.
- Alita Nandi & Cheti Nicoletti, 2014.
"Explaining personality pay gaps in the UK,"
Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(26), pages 3131-3150, September.
- James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006.
"The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
- James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," NBER Working Papers 12006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003.
"Human Capital Policy,"
IZA Discussion Papers
821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Javier G. Polavieja, 2010. "Socially-embedded investments: Explaining gender differences in job-specific skills," Working Papers 2010-12, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales.
- Corcoran, Mary E & Courant, Paul N, 1985. "Sex Role Socialization and Labor Market Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 275-78, May.
- Yona Rubinstein & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Importance of Noncognitive Skills: Lessons from the GED Testing Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 145-149, May.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:844.10. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Xavier Vila)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.