22 SES 07 B, Inclusion and Diversity in Higher Education Settings
In this presentation we examine the gender role attitudes among higher education students in a borderland Central-Eastern European region. We intended to find what kind of gender role attitudes the students identify themselves with, what affects these attitudes (gender, faculty type, social background of students, locality type, religiosity), and finally what kind of educational policy implications could be relevant concerning our findings.
In the first part of our presentation we define gender roles (Buda 1985), than we differentiate between traditional (functionalists: Parsons, Bales 1955) and modern attitudes and concepts. Then we present the recent tendencies in developed countries concerning gender role attitudes (based on Fortin 2005, Vella 1994, DeMarco 2001, Brewster and Padavic 2000). Further on we deal with socialization to gender roles. Besides gender role socialization in the family, we deal with the effect of school (Adler, Kless & Adler 1992, Vella 1994) and pear groups on gender role attitudes. We examine the effect of higher education institutions on self-esteem and value preferences of men and women as well (based on Astin and Kent 1983), because the formation of gender roles is strongly related to identity and self-evaluation. Concerning this we examine the hypothesis of Astin that colleges do not serve to reduce most of the stereotypic differences between genders. At the end of the theoretical part of our presentation we show what kind of gender role attitudes the people identify with in Central-Eastern Europe nowadays (based on Pongráczné 2005, Pongráczné and S. Molnár 2011), and we present the findings about gender role attitudes of higher education students in this region.
Based on the findings of the literature our hypotheses are the following: (1) Higher education students identify themselves with more modern gender roles than the whole population due to higher level of qualification and due to younger age of students (this hypothesis can be only partly controlled based on our data). (2) Among students, women identify themselves with more modern gender roles than men. (3) The faculty-type effect: In “masculine” majors (where the participation of women is lower) women identify themselves with more modern gender roles than in “feminine” majors (majors with large women majority), and men identify themselves with more modern gender roles in “feminine” majors than in “masculine” majors. Gender-inappropriate choice of major enlarges the acceptance of modern attitudes. (4) Social background effect: (4a) Students with disadvantageous social background (measured by their cultural and material capital) identify themselves with more traditional attitudes. (4b) Social mobility hypothesis: Students who will be first generational professionals could identify themselves with more modern gender roles than others. (5) Students who live in villages have more traditional gender role attitudes. (6) Religious students are characterized by more traditional gender role attitudes.
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