GENDER STEREOTYPES, OCCUPATIONAL ROLES, AND BELIEFS ABOUT PART-TIME EMPLOYEES

Authors


  • This research was supported by National Science Foundation Grants BNS-7924471, BNS-8023311, and BNS-8216742. A preliminary report was presented at the American Psychological Association, Anaheim, California, August 1983. The authors thank James Gibson, Tracy Clymer, Dave Burr, and Anna Fairchild for administering materials to subjects and Jeanne Lemkau, Kathleen Grady, and anonymous reviewers for comments on a draft of this article.

  • Valerie Steffen is now at Kent State University.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Alice H. Eagly, Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907.

Abstract

Subjects’ beliefs about the communion and agency of part-time employees were compared with their beliefs about the communion and agency of homemakers, full-time employees, and persons without an occupational description. Female part-time employees were believed to be more communal and less agentic than female full-time employees as well as less communal than female homemakers. Male part-time employees were believed to be less agentic than male full-time employees as well as less communal and less agentic than both male homemakers and men without an occupational description. In addition, subjects believed that part-time employment is associated with different life situations for women and men. For women this situation is substantial commitment to domestic duties, whereas for men it is difficulty in finding full-time employment. These findings support the theory that stereotypes concerning the communion and agency of women and men are a product of the social roles that women and men have been observed to occupy.

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