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Gender stereotypes in occupational choice: a cross-sectional study on a group of Italian adolescents

Authors Ramaci T, Pellerone M, Ledda C, Presti G, Squatrito V, Rapisarda V

Received 7 February 2017

Accepted for publication 23 March 2017

Published 18 April 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 109—117


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Igor Elman

Tiziana Ramaci,1 Monica Pellerone,1 Caterina Ledda,2 Giovambattista Presti,1 Valeria Squatrito,1 Venerando Rapisarda2

1Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, “Kore” University of Enna, Enna, 2Occupational Medicine, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Catania, Catania, Italy

Background: Gender beliefs represent cultural schemas for interpreting or making sense of the social and employment world, as they can influence attitudes, career aspirations, and the vocational decision process of young people, especially the adolescence.
Materials and methods: This study examined the influence of gender stereotypes on the choice of career in adolescents. A group of 120 students were recruited to complete an ad hoc questionnaire, Scale of Perceived Occupational Self-Efficacy, and Semantic Differentials. The objectives of the study were to analyze the relationship between occupational self-efficacy and professional preference; to measure the influence of independent variables, such as age and gender, on the representation that students have of themselves and of the profession; and to identify the predictor variables of self-efficacy in the vocational decision.
Results: Data showed that the distance between professional identity and social identity increases with age. Results underline that males seem to perceive themselves more self-efficient in military, scientific–technological, and agrarian professions than females. Furthermore, the type of job performed by parents appears to be a self-efficacy predictor variable in the choice of professions in the services area.
Conclusion: Individuals’ perceived occupational self-efficacy, gender, age, and parents’ profession have implications for exploratory behavior. The conditions that make gender differences salient are more likely to favor self-representations of the career and consistent assessments with these representations.

Keywords: adolescent, gender stereotypes, occupational choice

Erratum for this paper has been published

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