Female "rejection" of beliefs about the feminine role: An examination of related factors

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Female role rejection, defined as a female's expressed disagreement with her ascribed feminine roles was examined. It was hypothesized that female role rejection (dependent variable) is positively correlated with (1) female possession of male traits, (2) a female's desire to pursue a "male" occupation, and (3) a female's perception of "male" occupations as being more prestigious than "female" occupations (independent variables). A scale to measure female role rejection was composed of three components: beliefs about personality traits, housekeeping and childcaring duties, and an occupational dimension. A non sampled population of 284 undergraduate female Sociology students at a large university and a small female college located in Southwest Virginia was chosen. Justification for use of statistical tests was provided by Gold's (1969) contention that statistics can be applied meaningfully to data without regard to sampling considerations. Measurement of possession of male sex traits using one-third of the items on the Mf scale of the MMPI proved unsuccessful and this variable was dropped from the study. The remaining two hypotheses were supported at the .05 level of significance using a one-way analysis of variance and a correlation coefficient with the associated tests of significance. It was concluded that females who desire "male" and "neutral" occupations reject their ascribed roles to a greater extent than females who desire "female" occupations. Also, females who see "male" occupations as being more prestigious than "female" occupations reject their roles more than females who fail to perceive "male" occupations as more prestigious.