My Argument: Gender segregation in higher education and consequently the labor force can be attributed to societal influences that direct male and female students in opposing directions based on deep-rooted and persistent gender role expectations
- An argument made in “Influences on Students’ Choice of College Major” that I disagreed w/ was the broad blanket statement that in regard to occupational motivators, men more highly value income level and the potential for upward mobility. I don't discount that the research done by Charles A. Malgwi and other contributors demonstrated gendered-trends in occupational preferences and work values. I do, however, disagree that the conclusion can be drawn that men, in general, more highly value the monetary returns of their work and the potential for leadership opportunities. This is a gross generalization. Greater numbers of women enter the workforce every year, with increasing numbers of single-parent households and financially independent women. The world isn't was it used to be and the female gender has become much more competitive as a force, rising to the nature of their male counterparts. Perhaps if money wasn't a factor women would report more highly valuing job satisfaction to income level. But the reality is that money is a factor, for financially independent women as well as married women contributing to a dual-income family, which has also become increasingly more common and necessary with the rising costs of living. Therefore, I disagree with the conclusion Charles. A Malgwi and contributors drew from the research they collected. I see women today being equally motivated by income level and the opportunity for upward mobility with their careers to men, if not more so, as the monetary returns of work have become increasingly relevant.
- I’d also like to tie in “Job Preferences, College Major, and the Gender Gap in Earnings” by Daymont and Adrisani, as a counterargument to the claim Malgwi and contributors make in “Influences on Students’ Choice of College Major”. “Job Preferences, College Major, and the Gender Gap in Earnings” discusses how women, in the traditional gender-based division of household labor, have historically bore the greater share of childcare and household responsibilities. Both being non-income activities. Claiming that men “value” income more highly than women do is a weak assertion in that it discounts the simple fact that men, historically, have been in charge of providing the family income. That has been their gender role in the traditional household division of labor. So although women have met the responsibilities imposed on them by their gender role in the traditional household division of labor, which involves non-income activates, that does not signify the lack of value for the monetary returns of work.
- Further, Nancy D. Hall in “Strategies that Enhance the Persistence of Older Female Graduate Students”, discusses how the female role in the gender-based division of household labor is particularly constraining, as it is not conducive of a professional career. The role women need to fill, meeting non-income responsibilities at the expense of pursuing a high-level income career, is a hindrance on their professional development. Filling a gendered role imposed by society, that does not include the generation of income, does not imply a lack of value for income level or upward advancement.
American Association of University Women., and Gender and Race on the Campus and in the School: Beyond Affirmative Action. Gender and Race On the Campus and in the School, Beyond Affirmative Action: Symposium Proceedings Featuring Current Research and Model Programs Presented At the June 19-21, 1997, College/university Symposium. Washington, D.C.: American Association of University Women, 1997.
Daymont, Thomas N., and Paul J. Andrisani. “Job Preferences, College Major, and the Gender Gap in Earnings”. The Journal of Human Resources 19.3 (1984): 408–428. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.