Masculinity and femininity in relation to the perception of career barriers
Molder, Adrionia M.
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Gender-based discrimination hinders the economic advancement of women due to the perceived incompatibility between femininity and the idealized masculine standards of an employee. To understand the gender discrepancy in the labor market, the current study compared men’s and women’s perceptions of personal career barriers following a masculine, feminine, and gender- neutral priming condition. Data were collected from 129 undergraduate students, 67 males and 62 females, ranging in age from 18 to 26 years. Analysis revealed a significant difference in the perception of personal career barriers across priming conditions. Specifically, participants in the feminine priming condition reported the highest level of personal career barriers, and participants in the masculine priming condition reported the lowest. Regardless of priming condition, women reported higher levels of personal career barriers than did men. Further investigation is suggested to better understand how contemporary definitions of masculinity and femininity relate to men’s and women’s perceptions of personal career barriers.