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    Current prescriptions of men and women in differing occupational gender roles

    The gender roles of masculinity and femininity are considered not only to be descriptive of behaviour, but also to prescribe how men and women should behave. To assess the prescriptive nature of gender roles, previous research asked participants to assign masculine (agentic) and feminine (communal) traits to men and women of differing occupational roles. The current study, conducted in Australia, sought to establish whether previous results still apply to contemporary prescriptions of masculine and feminine traits of men and women in different occupational roles (specifically, employee and homemaker roles). Participants (N = 327) completed an online questionnaire, where masculine and feminine traits (as identified by the Bem Sex Role Inventory short-form) were ascribed to men and women of different occupational roles (that is, employee and homemaker). Compared to previous results, those of this current differ in fundamental ways that we posit reflect the social changes of women. Results are discussed in relation to both previous research and in response to social change.


    March, E., Van Dick, R., & Hernandez Bark, A. (2016). Current prescriptions of men and women in differing occupational gender roles. Journal of Gender Studies, 25, 681-692.

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