Factors that influence the selection of a traditionally female occupation by women in Oregon community colleges Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/qn59q783m

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  • The major question of this study was why do community college women choose traditional occupations? The study examined the characteristics of community college women who chose preparation for a traditional occupation either immediately after graduation from high school or after a period of absence for family responsibilities. The sample for this study consisted of 114 female students enrolled in early childhood education programs in four Oregon community colleges. The subjects were enrolled in the first year of an early childhood education program during Winter Term 1981. The instrumentation had two parts. The first part elicited information on the personal characteristics of the subjects, and the second part was the 15-item version of the "Attitudes toward Women Scale," which was used to assess sex role attitudes. The subjects in this study had chosen a traditional occupation but displayed nontraditional sex role attitudes on the "Attitudes toward Women Scale" ([average] = 31.92, S.D. = 7.55, Range = 0 to 45). The influence of fathers correlated significantly with attitudes toward sex roles. However, when partial correlations were used, mothers' influence was related to influence of fathers but was not related to sex role attitudes. Influence of spouses did not significantly correlate with attitudes toward sex roles but was related to influence of mothers. Variables such as age, marital status, parental education attainment, and status of parental occupations related to influence of fathers, mothers, and/or spouses and not to sex role attitudes when the effects of fathers' influence were controlled for. It was concluded that women choose a traditional occupation even though they have nontraditional sex role attitudes. This is a deliberate choice with perceived family support. This study indicates that early childhood education is a viable educational program of study because people deliberately choose this field.
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