Investigation Of The Impact Of Gender Discrepancies And Streotyping On Career Selection Of Senior Secondary School Students

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Investigation Of The Impact Of Gender Discrepancies And Streotyping On Career Selection Of Senior Secondary School Students


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Gender is concerned with characteristics associated with masculine and feminine, as well as how individuals define their positions as male or female (Kauffman, 1997). In other words, gender is associated to how people view themselves in a manner that most people of the same sex identify with some particular characteristics. This leads to gender stereotyping and has an impact on children’s development.

Gender stereotyping refers to broad categories of people’s perceptions and ideas about females and males. Stereotypes (whether based on sex, culture, or other groups) all refer to the perception of a typical member of a specific social category (Adesola, 2012). Furthermore, gender stereotyping is classified into four dimensions: attributes, physical characteristics, behavior, and careers. Labels such as tender or harsh are the outcome of stereotypes. Women may be classified as “soft,” while men may be categorized as “hard.” However, once labels are established, they are exceedingly difficult to eliminate. Many stereotypes, on the other hand, are so broad and imprecise (Almiskry, 2009).

Furthermore, gender stereotypes are derived from gender roles, which specify the obligations of males and females. Males’ roles are classified as masculine, while females’ duties are classified as feminine (Adetokunbo, 2017). In other words, both men and women are expected to undertake specific tasks in a given community. The community in which a person lives essentially constructs these positions. These roles are determined by the individual’s gender (Adetokunbo, 2017).

Specifically, females are identified with responsibilities such as caring for children, cooking, and participating in food production, whereas males are recognized with roles such as defending families, constructing, as well as participating in paid jobs, commercial farming practices, and business (Archer & Lloyd 2002).

Women and men appear to have been raised in all civilizations, western and non-western, to believe in and adhere to gender norms that are given to them on a regular basis. These attitudes are so deeply engrained in both male and female that they spread to career choices (Otunga, 1996).

According to Hansen (2009), external forces that impact an individual’s profession decision are however influenced by significant others through social support by peers. Similarly, Young (1999) postulated that young adults learn about and explore careers through interactions with their family, school, and community, which eventually leads to their career decision. Likewise, Zacharia (2008) asserted that teenagers’ ambitions are impacted by their parents’ ambitions or aspirations. Parental encouragement and support are crucial elements that have been demonstrated to impact career choice. Children may select what their parents want only to appease them. Sounders (1999)

According to Zacharia (2008) and Nasania (2004), students in rural areas seek support from their parents more than urban students; in other words, parents have a larger influence in kids’ career choices than professors.

In general, conventional gender stereotypes, parents, and friends, among other influences, affect career selection; nonetheless, variances arise from one group to the next. Students are frequently given a list of professions from which to choose before making their career decisions. Since most students lack enough information about numerous careers, the decisions they make are based on conventional gender stereotypes and the subjects they learn in secondary school.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Majority of secondary students receive misleading knowledge regarding career options, which makes it difficult for them to make informed career decision. As a result, some of them rely on obsolete gender stereotypes. It was a common practice in the ancient times. However, globalisation and post-industrialization have made it feasible for the average individual to become richer as long as she or he possesses the necessary skills and knowledge (Tomlinson, & Evans 1999). Students can now conduct thorough career exploration and career planning before making a career decision in order to adapt to changing socioeconomic situation.

However, women are seen as the weak ones and are not given the best opportunities they need when choosing a career; individuals believe that no matter how many degrees a woman has, she will eventually wind up in a man’s kitchen (Temidayo, 2013); this type of stereotype, however, gets into the noggins of some girls if they do not receive appropriate support from the right people. As a result, most female students eventually learn a trade, and some choose a career path that is not their dream. It is in response to this problem that the researcher decided to conduct this study on the impact of gender disparities and stereotyping on senior secondary school students’ career selection.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The overall aim of this study is to critically investigate the impact of gender discrepancies and streotyping on career selection of senior secondary school students. Hence, the study will be channeled to the following specific objectives;

  1. Ascertain whether senior secondary school students are adequately educated on the right criteria for choosing a career.
  2. Determine whether gender stereotyping influences students career choice.
  3. Determine gender discrepancies influences students career choice.
  4. Ascertain how stereotyping affects the career choice of students.

1.4 Research Questions

The study will be guided by the following questions;

  1. Are the senior secondary school students adequately educated on the right criteria for choosing a career?
  2. Does gender stereotyping influence students career choice?
  3. Does gender discrepancies influence students career choice?
  4. How does stereotyping affect the career choice of students?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The information generated from this study will the basis for designing a career counselling intervention program that will alleviate gender stereotyping among secondary school students. More importantly, the findings of this study will help the secondary school students in making rational choices in their careers, independent of stereotyped perceptions. Furthermore, the findings are expected to form the basis for further research on gender stereotyping and student career choice. The study findings are will also add new knowledge to the field of social psychology as well as in existing literature on career choice.


1.6 Scope of the Study

This study is structured to generally investigate the impact of gender discrepancies and stereotyping on career selection of senior secondary school students. However, the study will further ascertain whether senior secondary school students are adequately educated on the right criteria for choosing a career, determine whether gender stereotyping influences students career choice, determine ethnical stereotyping influences students career choice, and ascertain how stereotyping affects the career choice of students.

The study will therefore be carried out in four(4) selected senior secondary schools in Okpanam, Asaba, Delta state.


1.7. Limitations of the Study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents.

In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed.

More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Gender Discrepancy:

This is a situation in which someone is treated less because of their sex, usually when a woman is treated less well than a man.

Stereotype:

This is a generalized belief about a particular category of people. It is an expectation that people might have about every person of a particular group.

Gender Stereotyping:

This is an over-generalization of characteristics, differences and attributes of a certain group based on thei


Investigation Of The Impact Of Gender Discrepancies And Streotyping On Career Selection Of Senior Secondary School Students


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Investigation Of The Impact Of Gender Discrepancies And Streotyping On Career Selection Of Senior Secondary School Students


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Frequently Asked Questions


Do gender stereotypes affect students’ interests in pursuing science?

Another study among first-year undergraduate students illustrated that implicit stereotypes of science completely accounted for a gap in male and female students’ interests to pursue science. Especially the academic aspirations of women who strongly identified as female were affected by the gender stereotypic image of science ( Lane et al., 2012)

How does gender segregation affect gender-stereotyping?

The persistence of horizontal gender segregation in educational and occupational fields contributes decisively to the spread of gender-stereotypic beliefs about a natural fit of women in careers in more expressive and human-centered fields and men in technical and math-intensive fields (Charles and Bradley, 2009).

What are the negative impacts of gender stereotypes?

What are the negative impacts of gender stereotypes? Gender stereotypes shape self-perception, attitudes to relationships and influence participation in the world of work. In a school environment, they can affect a young person’s classroom experience, academic performance, subject choice and well-being.

Does the gender image of school science subjects influence young people?

Studies have repeatedly reported that math and science are perceived as male domains, and scientists as predominantly male. However, the impact of the gender image of school science subjects on young people’s career choice has not yet been analyzed. 

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