IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/qss/dqsswp/1210.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Nurse or Mechanic? The Role of Parental Socialization and Children's Personality in the Formation of Sex-Typed Occupational Aspirations

Author

Listed:
  • Javier Polavieja

    () (IMDEA-Social Sciences Institute)

  • Lucinda Platt

    () (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London)

Abstract

This study investigates the role of parental socialization and children’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.

Suggested Citation

  • Javier Polavieja & Lucinda Platt, 2012. "Nurse or Mechanic? The Role of Parental Socialization and Children's Personality in the Formation of Sex-Typed Occupational Aspirations," DoQSS Working Papers 12-10, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:qss:dqsswp:1210
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://repec.ioe.ac.uk/REPEc/pdf/qsswp1210.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2002. "The Inheritance of Inequality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 3-30, Summer.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Leuze, Kathrin & Helbig, Marcel, 2015. "Why do girls' and boys' gender-(a)typical occupational aspirations differ across countries? How cultural norms and institutional constraints shape young adolescents' occupational preferences," Discussion Papers, Presidential Department P 2015-002, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender Segregation; Occupational Aspirations; Children; Socialization; Personality Traits;

    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; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:qss:dqsswp:1210. 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: (Bilal Nasim). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/dqioeuk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.